The rout on the Nigerian equities market continued in the first week of trading activities of 2019 as investors reduced and/or exited positions in stocks ahead of the elections.
As a result, most counters on the local bourse remain undervalued, trading near one-year lows.
Persistent sell pressures in market bellwethers like Access Bank, Stanbic IBTC and Nigerian Breweries drove the All Share Index (ASI) 1.3 per cent lower week-on-week (W-o-W) to 30,638.90 points.
Similarly, the Year-To-Date (YTD) return settled at -2.5 per cent while market capitalisation decreased by N88.4 billion to N11.4 trillion when activity level weakened, as average volume and value traded declined 50.0 per cent and 47.0 per cent to N411.6 million units and N2.1 billion respectively.
The top traded stocks by volume were Diamond Bank at 401.3 million units, Union Dicon with 268.3 million units and NEM Insurance with 146.4 million units while Zenith Bank at N2.0 billion, Guaranty Trust Bank at N1.0 billion and Diamond Bank at N0.8 billion led by value.
At the start of the week and close of 2018 (31/12/2018), the market gained 1.27 per cent after which it maintained a downtrend till Friday (4/01/2019).
Sell pressures on Dangote Cement, Nigerian Breweries, Guaranty Trust Bank and Stanbic IBTC drove the benchmark index 2.11 per cent lower on Wednesday and Thursday, and by the close of the week, the cumulative loss extended to 2.54 per cent on the back of price depreciation in FBN Holdings, Zenith Bank and Diamond Bank.
Across sectors, performance was equally negative as four of five indices closed in the red W-o-W. The Industrial Goods index was the biggest loser, down 3.9 per cent due to losses in Lafarge WAPCO (-9.6%) and Cement Company of Northern Nigeria (-7.5%).
The banking index trailed, falling 2.7 per cent as Access Bank (-14.7%) and Zenith Bank (-5.7%) witnessed price depreciation.
In the same vein, sell-offs in Mansard Insurance (-3.7%), AIICO Insurance (-7.2%), Dangote Flour (-12.4%) and Nigerian Breweries (-3.0%) dragged the Insurance and Consumer Goods indices 1.0 per cent lower apiece. The Oil & Gas index was the lone gainer for the week, up 2.9 per cent following buy interest in Seplat Petroleum Development Company (+8.0%) and Total Nigeria (+3.6%).