Weak investor sentiment drags stock market lower

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The nation’s stock mrket extended its decline on Tuesday as 15 firms suffered losses amid weak investor sentiment.

The All Share Index declined 0.7 per cent at the close of trading on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange to close at 30,099.83 basis points.

The market capitalization of equities listed on the NSE fell by N97.9bn to close at N13.25tn while the year-to-date loss further weakened to 4.3 per cent.

Ten stocks gained at the end of trading on Tuesday, with Unilever Nigeria Plc leading the pack, while Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc led the losers.

Activity level was mixed as volume traded declined by 5.6 per cent to 233.5 million units while value traded rose by one per cent to N3.5bn.

Analysts at Afrinvest Securities Limited noted that performance across sectors was largely bearish as all indices under their coverage closed in the red, with the exception of the insurance index, which advanced by 0.5 per cent.

They said, “Conversely, the industrial goods index led decliners, down 1.1 per cent following price depreciation in Dangote Cement (-2.1 per cent) and Cutix Plc (-2.7 per cent).

“The oil and gas index shed 0.8 per cent on the back of losses in 11 Plc (-3.8 per cent). In the same vein, the Afrinvest ICT and banking indices declined by 0.7 per cent and 0.2 per cent respectively as investors exited positions in MTN Nigeria Communications Plc (-0.7 per cent), United Bank for Africa (-2.00 per cent), and Zenith Bank Plc (-1.5 per cent).”

The consumer goods index dropped by two basis points on the back of losses in Nigerian Breweries Plc (-1.7 per cent) and Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc (-4.4 per cent).

“Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) weakened to 0.6x from 0.8x recorded the previous day. We expect the bearish sentiment in the market to persist in the near term,” the analysts said.

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