The worst may have happened to the Nigerian stock market as the All-share index, which measures the performance of listed firms, slumped to a six-year low. It shed 3.72 percent to 22,695.88 from 23, 572.75 at which it opened for trading yesterday, largely due to the persistent sell pressure on medium/large capitalized stocks
Specifically, at the close of trading Thursday, the All-Share Index (ASI) decreased by 876.87 absolute points, representing a dip of 3.72 percent to close at 22,695.88 points. Similarly, the overall market capitalization size shed N457 billion, to close at N11.827 trillion.
The downtrend was impacted by losses recorded in large and medium capitalized stocks, amongst which are; MTN Nigeria, Okomu Oil, Presco, Nigerian Breweries and Flour Mills of Nigeria.
Analysts at Vetiva Securities said: “Having lost in all of the four trading sessions so far this week, we expect the bearish performance to extend into tomorrow’s session with the WTD performance expected to come in significantly lower.”
Meanwhile, the Chairman of Association of Securities Dealing Houses of Nigeria (ASHON), Chief Oyinyechukwu Ezeagu, has assured investors that the market would soon rebound despite the current unprecedented lull.
Although he acknowledged the high level of downswing on the market in the last couple of days but however expressed optimism that the quoted companies remained strong, even in the face of the headwinds
Ezeagu explained that Nigeria’s stock market remained part of the global exchanges, and as such, any development in the global market would impact its operations.
“The effect of the coronavirus is gradually affecting trading all over the world and whatever happens elsewhere reflects in our market. The center of it all is China and being a major world power both in production and consumption capacities, any ill wind affecting China would naturally cause big sneezing to the rest of the world.
“Investors should not panic. The share prices will bounce back. The companies’ fundamentals remain strong. Many investors are taking advantage of the bearish run to beef up their portfolios,” he said.
Further breakdown of yesterday’s transactions showed that market breadth remained negative, with three gainers versus 44 losers. Caverton Offshore Support Group recorded the highest price gain of 10 percent, to close at N2.31, per share.
Skyway Aviation Handling Company followed with a gain of 9.83 percent to close at N2.57, while Stanbic IBTC Holdings appreciated by 3.35 percent to close at N29.30, per share.
On the other hand, Africa Prudential, Fidelity Bank, Flour Mills, Nigerian Breweries, Oando, University Press and Wapic Insurance led the losers’ chart by 10 percent, each to close at N3.60, N1.53, N19.80, N29.70, N1.89, 90 kobo, and 27 kobo, per share, respectively.
Zenith Bank followed with a decline of 9.96 percent to close at N10.85, while MTN Nigeria, United Capital, and NASCON Allied Industries declined by 9.95 percent each to close at N93.20, N1.90 and N9.50, per share, respectively.
Total volume traded fell by 23.9 percent to 1.06 billion shares, worth N9.81 billion, and traded in 5,501 deals. Transactions in the shares of Zenith Bank topped the activity chart with 433.16 million shares valued at N4.7 billion.
United Bank for Africa (UBA) followed with 371.34 million shares worth N2.09 billion, while Guaranty Trust Bank traded 62.18 million shares valued at N1.14 billion. FBN Holdings traded 31.95 million shares valued at N128.21 million, while Wapic Insurance sold 320.64 million shares worth N5.79 million.