Bank shares dragged the nation’s stock market into its fourth consecutive day of losses as investors lost N20bn on Thursday.
The banking sector was the highest loser, recording a decline of 0.55 per cent as the market capitalisation of equities listed on the Nigeria Stock Exchange dropped from N10.880tn on Wednesday to N10.860tn on Thursday.
Four banks ― NPF Microfinance Bank Plc, FBN Holdings Plc, Zenith Bank Plc and Wema Bank Plc ― were responsible for the decline in the banking sector performance.
The consumer goods index lost a marginal 0.03 per cent due to major losses recorded in Nigerian Breweries Plc and Honeywell Flour Mills Plc.
On the flip side, the market declined by 0.24 per cent as the All Share Index dropped to 28,896.25 basis points, despite gains recorded in the insurance and oil and gas sectors.
The insurance sector was the major gainer, up by 1.09 per cent on the back of major gains recorded in AXA Mansard Insurance Plc and Regency Alliance Insurance Plc.
The oil and gas index gained 0.52 per cent while the industrial goods index closed flat, dragging the year-to-date loss to -8.1 per cent.
A total of 215.204 million shares valued at N2.051bn exchanged hands in 5,646 deals, representing a 33.8 per cent and 36.7 per cent decline in volume and value traded, respectively.
The top traded stocks by volume were Access Bank Plc (40.7 million units), Zenith Bank Plc (28.6 million units) and Sterling Bank Plc (23.8 million units) while the top traded stocks by value were Zenith Bank (N576.5m), Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (N414.7m) and Access Bank (N283.5m).
Investor sentiment stood at 0.4x, compared to the 1.0x recorded on Wednesday.
Eight gainers, led by Veritas Kapital Assurance Plc, which saw a gain of 10 per cent in its share price, were outnumbered by 19 losers led by Japaul Oil and Maritime Services Plc, whose share price declined by 10 per cent.
Other gainers were AXA Mansard, First City Monument Bank Plc, Regency Alliance, Africa Prudential Plc, May & Baker Nigeria Plc, Dangote Flour Mills Plc and Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, which saw respective gains of 5.41 per cent, five per cent, four per cent, 3.15 per cent, 2.20 per cent, 1.19 per cent and 0.46 per cent.
Following Japaul Oil, Caverton Offshore Support Group Plc, Neimeth Pharmaceuticals Nigeria Plc, Chams Plc and A.G Leventis Nigeria Plc led the losers, with losses of 9.96 per cent, 9.84 per cent, 8.33 per cent and 7.69 per cent, respectively.
Analysts at Afrinvest Securities Limited said in their view, the current bearish performance was expected to extend into the last trading day of the week as reflected by the weak investor sentiment.