Stock market reverses gains on sell-offs, weak oil price

The nation’s equities market lost N39.89bn on Wednesday as the gains recorded in the previous session were pared.

The market capitalisation, which stood at N11.255tn on Tuesday, dropped to N11.215tn on Wednesday, while the All Share Index  of the Nigerian Stock Exchange declined by 0.35 per cent to settle at 30,704.98 basis points.

At the end of trading on the floor of the Exchange on Wednesday, major benchmarks closed in the red.

The NSE Oil/Gas Index slid by 2.99 per cent, emerging the biggest loser as sinking oil prices hit energy companies.

Oil prices, which hit a one-year low on Tuesday, surged on Wednesday, but this failed to reflect in the performance of oil stocks.

Sell pressures were witnessed in Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc and Total Nigeria Plc.

The NSE Industrial Index was the second biggest loser, with a 1.14 per cent loss due to sell-offs in Dangote Cement Plc.

Similarly, the NSE Banking Index depreciated by 0.21 per cent on the back of major losses witnessed in Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and Zenith Bank Plc.

On the flip side, the NSE Consumer Goods Index was the highest gainer, with a 1.18 per cent gain as major stocks such as Nestlé Nigeria Plc and Nigerian Breweries Plc recorded price appreciation.

The NSE Insurance Index trailed, gaining a marginal 0.23 per cent on the back of gains recorded in Lasaco Assurance Plc and Wapic Insurance Plc.

“The bearish position today is consistent with the undulating trend observed so far in the week,” Analysts at Afrinvest Securities Limited said.

“We, therefore, expect some buying interest in bellwethers that have declined to drive market performance towards the end of the week.”
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