Despite pocket of gains, weak sentiments continued to dominate the domestic equities market as the market capitalisation depreciated by N175 billion at the close of transactions.
Consequently, the All Share Index (ASI) plummeted by 1.52 per cent w/w to 21,861.78 points as the Month-to-Date (MTD) and Year-to-Date (YtD) returns settled at -15.3 and -18.6 per cent, respectively.
Investors’ sentiment in stock trading was mildly positive as the volume of transactions on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) increased by 22.4 per cent on Monday.
Similarly, the benchmark index sliding down by 2.24 per cent to close at 21,700.98 points while market capitalisation declined by N259 billion to close at N11.308 trillion.
However, sentiment turned positive as late interest in banking stocks supported the benchmark index as it rose by 0.2 per cent to 21,741.16 points on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Month-to-Date and Year-to-Date losses moderated to -17.1 and -19.0 per cent respectively while market capitalisation closed at N11.329 trillion after the NSE activated a 30-day remote working plan after closing its trading floors temporarily.
Following price losses in Total, FCMB and Africa Prudential, Nigeria’s stock market closed in the red as the index declined marginally by 0.05 per cent to 21,729.48 points.
Consequently, YtD return worsened to -19.0 per cent while market capitalisation declined N6 billion to close at N11.3 trillion on Wednesday.
However, Thursday’s session closed on a positive note yesterday as the market capitalisation rose by N65 billion to close at N11.338 trillion.
Investors’ appetite for stocks particularly in the banking index (Zenith and Access Bank) grew, thus resulting in a 0.13 per cent increase in the market’s ASI which closed at 21,757.47 points.
The bullish run in the equities market continued on Friday as the index increased by 0.48 per cent to close at 21,861.78 points.
Analysing by sectors, significant losses recorded in the Consumer Goods (-8.1 per cent) and Oil and Gas (-2.2 per cent) sectors weighed on the market performance, as both indices declined.
The Industrial Goods (-0.5 per cent) index also followed suit. The Insurance (+3.3 per cent) and Banking (+2.1 per cent) indices were the sole gainers.
Reacting to the development, Cordros Capital, in their weekly assessment of the market, said that the trend is likely to persist and advised investors to take positions in fundamental stocks.
They said: “In our view, the trend witnessed this week is likely to persist, as weakening market sentiment in the face of the fast-spreading Coronavirus pandemic and the weakness across global markets are expected to pressure market returns. Nonetheless, we advise investors to take positions in fundamentally justified stocks”.
On his part, Managing Director, Decof Investments, Moses Igbrude, noted that the COVID-19 pandemic had a negative effect on the performance of the market.
“The issue is that if we look what is happening outside Nigeria, the issue is very serious. Even in Nigeria, I am sure that the number of infected people are more than what they are saying is the actual figure, so we need to be very careful as investors have to be alive to make any investment particularly on the floor of the NSE. I would thus say we should be cautious and adhere to what the NCDC and WHO have said we should do”, he said.
A total turnover of 1.452 billion shares worth N14.918 billion in 21,828 deals were traded this week by investors on the floor of the Exchange, in contrast to a total of 2.804 billion shares valued at N32.559 billion that exchanged hands last week in 31,715 deals.
The Financial Services industry (measured by volume) led the activity chart with 1.224 billion shares valued at N10.590 billion traded in 14,944 deals; thus contributing 84.32 and 70.99 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.
Similarly, the Conglomerates followed with 50.261 million shares worth N61.457 million in 442 deals while the Consumer Goods industry posted a turnover of 47.276 million shares worth N2.509 billion in 2,225 deals.
Trading in the Top Three Equities namely, Zenith Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and FBN Holdings Plc (measured by volume) accounted for 713.795 million shares worth N8.610 billion in 8,608 deals, contributing 49.18 per cent and 57.71 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.
Thirty-four equities appreciated in price during the week, lower than 35 in the previous week. Thirty equities depreciated in price, higher than 27 equities in the previous week, while 99 equities remained unchanged, lower than 101 equities recorded in the preceding week.