The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) kicked off the new year on an unexpected note, navigating uncharted waters as trading began with a four-year low.

A mere 904,000 shares changed hands on the first day of 2024, signifying a substantial dip in investor confidence.

The total value of shares plummeted to Sh12.5 million, a stark contrast to 2023's opening figures of 1.73 million shares equivalent to Sh33.8 million.

Breaking away from the trend of the past four years, this marks the first time the NSE has initiated trading with less than a million shares.

In contrast, the year 2021 witnessed 8.7 million shares traded, amounting to Sh242 million, and 2022 saw a further surge to 17.6 million shares valued at Sh630 million.

Market data released after Tuesday's close indicated that the NSE concluded the day with a meager turnover of Sh12.5 million.

The top indices showcased diverse performances; The NSE 20 Share Index experienced a downturn of 7.68 points, settling at 1508.83.

The All Share Index NASI saw a slight dip of 0.13 points, closing at 91.97. On a positive note, the NSE 25 Share Index gained 7.07 points, settling at 2387.30, and the NSE 10 Share Index added 3.72 points, standing at 911.24.

In their daily brief, the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) provided insight, stating, "The Bourse opened the year 2024 with a total of 904,000 shares valued at Sh12.5M, against 2.6M shares valued at Sh41.9M posted on the last trading day of 2023."

The Banking Sector dominated the trading floor, accounting for 63.34 per cent of the day's traded value with shares worth Sh7.9 million changing hands.

Standard Chartered Bank Kenya took centre stage, witnessing the transaction of 20,000 shares valued at Sh3.2 million, fluctuating between Sh160.25 and Sh164.00.

Meanwhile, the Co-operative Bank of Kenya experienced a marginal dip of 0.44 per cent, closing at Sh11.35, with shares worth Sh1.7 million traded.

KCB Group closed the day with a 0.23 per cent positive trajectory at Sh21.95, trading a volume of 54,000 shares valued at Sh1.2 million.

Safaricom showcased active movement, with 176,000 shares valued at Sh2.4 million changing hands between Sh13.65 and Sh13.95, constituting 19.30 per cent of the day's traded value.

Despite the challenges faced in 2023, marked by the departure of foreign investors, the outlook for 2024 is optimistic.

Analysts anticipate a rebound for listed shares at the Nairobi Securities Exchange, and fixed income securities are emerging as key assets to monitor in the upcoming year.

Investors, acknowledging the resilience of the market, are keenly watching for signs of recovery after the setbacks of the previous year.