Mirroring the projections of most financial analyst for the Nigerian equities market, a gloomy trend set in the concluding quarters of 2018 has seen market activity take off the new year on a bearish note to end the first trading week of the year with a 1.3 percent loss in the All Share Index (ASI).
Specifically, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (ASI) closed the week at 30,638.90 basis points, down by 1.28 percent while market capitalization decreased by N88.4 billion to close the week at N11.426 trillion.
Performance across the sectors making up the market also closed the week bearish, except for the NSE oil and gas index that rose by 2.91 percent, on account of an 8 percent share price appreciation in Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc and a 3.6 percent growth in shares of Total Nigeria Plc.
The industrial goods index was the biggest loser, down 3.9 percent due to losses in WAPCO (-9.6%) and Cement Company of Northern Nigeria (-7.5%). The banking index trailed, falling 2.7% as Access Bank (-14.7%) and Zenith bank (-5.7%) witnessed price depreciation. In the same vein, sell-offs in AXA Mansard (-3.7%), AIICO Insurance (-7.2%), Dangote Flour (-12.4%) and Nigerian Breweries (-3.0%) dragged the insurance and consumer goods indices 1.0% lower apiece.
As the Federal Government of Nigeria declared Tuesday 1st January 2019 a Public Holiday to mark the New Year celebrations, the market opened for four trading days last week, with investors pulling a total turnover of 1.647 billion shares worth N8.413 billion in 14,773 deals.
This was in contrast to a total of 3.129 billion shares valued at N14.348 billion that exchanged hands previous week in 10,394 deals.
The Financial Services Industry (measured by volume) led the activity chart with 1.154 billion shares valued at N5.742 billion traded in 9,174 deals; thus contributing 70.08 percent and 68.25 percent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.
The Healthcare Industry followed with 271.277 million shares worth N82.647 million in 219 deals. The third place was taken up by the services industry with a turnover of 91.734 million shares worth N 208.562 million in 232 deals.
Top three traded equities by volume for the week were Diamond Bank Plc, Union Diagnostic & Clinical Services Plc and NEM Insurance Plc. They accounted for 816.016 million shares worth N1.305 billion in 1,615 deals, contributing 49.54 percent and 15.51 percent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.
Twenty-two equities appreciated in price during the week in review, lower than fifty-two in the previous week. Forty-five equities depreciated in price, higher than eighteen of the previous week, while ninety-seven (97) equities remained unchanged higher than ninety-four equities recorded in the preceding week.
Also traded during the week were a total of 395 units of Exchange Traded Products (ETPs) valued at N816,344.70 executed in 13 deals compared with a total of 25,500 units valued at N1.782 million that was transacted last week in 15 deals.
A total of 7,209 units of Federal Government Bonds valued at N6.958 million were traded this week in 8 deals compared with a total of 686 units valued at N689,162.04 transacted last week in 3 deals.
Pre-election jitters are expected to further fuel a bearish performance this week as sell pressures heighten, investment experts have said.