The Nigerian equities market sank deeper wednesday with the capitalisation of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) falling to a new low of N13.984 trillion as bellwether stocks continued to tank. Also, the year-to-date (YTD) growth of the market contracted further to 0.9 per cent, indicating that another bearish trading sessions would push the market to a YTD decline.
Bears have dominated the market for the past three consecutive weeks as foreign investors, who always dictate the pace, are said to be exiting emerging and frontier markets. Although most of the stocks are trading at attractive valuations, domestic investors are not taking advantage of the cheap prices.
The bear run continued yesterday making bellwethers such as Dangpote Cement Plc, Nestle Nigeria Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, Nigerian Breweries to close lower and dragging NSE indicators to new lows.
Specifically, the NSE capitalisation fell from N14.137 trillion to close at N13.984 trillion, while NSE All-Share Index fell by 1.08 per cent to close lower at 38,606.41 from 39,028.51.
A total of 25 stocks depreciated, dominated by highly capitalised counters, while 23 stocks advanced led mostly by low-priced counters. Ikeja Hotel Plc led the price losers as investors locked in gains from it recent rally following the lifting of suspension on trading of the stock by the NSE last week. The high demand that welcomed the lifting of the suspension after 18 months boosted the stock by over 45 per cent. However, profit taking has set in, giving the stock a haircut of 7.0 per cent to close at N2.51 wednesday.
A.G Leventis Nigeria Plc trailed as the second highest price loser, shedding 6.7 per cent, while Glaxosmithkline Consumers Nigeria Plc, Lafarge Africa Plc and International Breweries Plc dipped by 4.9 per cent apiece. Sterling Bank Plc, Japaul Oil and Gas Plc went down by 4.5 per cent each, just as Nigerian Breweries Plc lost 4.3 per cent among others.
On the positive side, Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc led the bulls with 6.2 per cent, trailed by FCMB Group Plc with a gain of 5.0 per cent. Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc chalked up 4.9 per cent, while Fidson Healthcare Plc closed 4.8 per cent higher.
Other top price gainers included: Dangote Flour Mills Plc (4.6 per cent); Learn Africa Plc (4.5 per cent), Skye Bank Plc (4.4 per cent); Wema Bank Plc (4.2 per cent) and WAPIC Insurance Plc (4.1 per cent). However, activity level strengthened as volume and value traded rose by 53.9 per cent and 188.5 per cent to 342.0 million shares and N4.7 billion.