The year-to-date(YtD) decline of the Nigerian equities market hit a new year low at 8.28 per cent as the market recorded its eight consecutive fall Wednesday. The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) declined 0.60 per cent to close at 35,074.82, while market capitalisation depreciated by N77.9 billion to be at N12.8 trillion.
The depreciation recorded in the share prices of some highly capitalised companies such as United Bank for Africa Plc, Nestle Nigeria Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, Cadbury Nigeria Plc, and GTBank Plc were mainly responsible for the loss recorded.
In all, 29 stocks shed value compared with 12 stocks that appreciated. UACN Property Development Company Plc led the price losers with 10 per cent, trailed by Berger Paints Nigeria Plc with 9.7 per cent. Learn Africa Plc, Newrest ASL Nigeria Plc and Oando Plc went down by 9.4 per cent, 9.1 per cent and 9.0 per cent respectively.
The 12 price gainers are led by Linkage Assurance Plc with 9.6 per cent, followed by Union Diagnostic and Clinical Services Plc that appreciated by 3.7 per cent. FBN Holdings Plc, May & Baker Nigeria Plc and Total Nigeria Plc garnered 3.1 per cent, 3.0 per cent and 2.7 per cent in that order.
Commenting on the market performance, analysts at Meristem Securities Limited said: "Investor appetite weakened further today as the YTD return pared to a new year low of -8.28 per cent. Although modest bargain hunting activities were recorded in the Insurance sector, today's performance was dragged by sell offs on blue-chip counters across the market. This was reflected by the 0.70 per cent decline in the NSE 30 index."