• Oil's slump, slowing growth in China and Fed weigh on equities
  • Drop in equities will mark second bear market this year

Nigerian equities fell to their lowest level in six months to trade near a bear market on concern that oil prices near a six-year low will deepen the country’s economic woes.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange All Share Index slid 1.6 percent 28,738.12 by 1 p.m. in Lagos, the commercial capital, paring an earlier decline of as much as 2.4 percent. A close below 28,582.50 will mark a 20 percent decline from this year’s closing high on April 2, meeting the common definition of a bear market.

Shares in Africa’s largest economy and oil producer are tipping into a bear market for the second time this year as President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, which took power at the end of May, struggles to cope with crude prices that have tumbled more than 35 percent this year.

“It’s a function of oil prices, slowing growth in China and the fears of a U.S. rate hike,” Lanre Buluro, head of research at Primera Africa Securities Ltd., said by phone from Lagos. "It’s all just come to a boil."

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