The Nigerian Stock Exchange recorded the lowest trade volume this year after the NSE All-Share Index trended lower for the third consecutive session on Wednesday amid cautious trading, with the key sectors making losses.
A total of 81.913 million shares worth N592.5244m were traded in 2,520 deals, as against 154.161 million shares that were traded on Tuesday.
The NSE market capitalisation dropped to N9.438tn on Wednesday from N9.464tn the previous day, while the ASI plunged to 27,4478.04 basis points from 27,555.31 basis points.
The oil and gas sector continued to lead market declines following 7.67 per cent loss in the shares of Forte Oil Plc; Total Nigeria Plc, 4.6 per cent; and Oando Plc,1.37 per cent
The consumer goods and financial services sectors’ stocks posted less significant losses with International Breweries Plc’s shares dropping by 4.95 per cent; Cadbury Nigeria Plc, 2.33 per cent; Wema Bank Plc, 3.17 per cent; and FCMB Group Plc, 2.68 per cent.
The industrial goods sector, however, posted another positive performance on the back of advances by CAP Plc at 1.5 per cent and sustained gains by Lafarge Africa Plc at 0.7 per cent.
The market breadth remained negative with 13 advances and 24 declines.
Commenting on the market trend, analysts at Vetiva Capital Management Plc said, “Given the traditionally high market trades during earnings seasons, we find Wednesday’s extraordinarily low market volume quite surprising; Monday’s volume was also significantly low.
“This suggests that investors maintain a wait-and-see approach this season, hence, we expect the recent bearish trend to persist.”
The interbank call rate plummeted to 18.92 per cent from the previous 151.67 per cent, as the Central Bank of Nigeria concluded recent secondary market intervention sales (with the results yet to be announced). At the foreign exchange interbank market, the naira appreciated by 25 kobo to close at N304.75, while the one-year forward rate remained unchanged at N355.
Vastly improved system liquidity instigated bullish sentiment across fixed income markets in Wednesday’s trading. In the Treasury bills market, yields declined by 50 basis points on average amidst strong buying momentum on short-dated bills.
In particular, the yields on the 15-day-to-maturity, 43DTM and 92DTM bills retreated to 16.82 per cent, 15.22 per cent, and 14.05 per cent, respectively.
Similarly, the bond market turned bullish as yields on benchmark bonds moderated by 10 basis points on the average.
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