Profit-taking in Dangote Cement, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc and 16 others shares down equities market of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Wednesday by N56.2 billion.
The market capitalisation dropped by 0.42 per cent to close at N13.358 trillion from N13.415 trillion it opened for trading.
Consequently, the All Share Index (ASI) also decreased by 115.27 basis points or 0.42 per cent to close on Wednesday at 27,412.13 basis points from 27,527.40 basis points of the preceding day.
market breath closed negative, recording 11 gainers and 17 losers as the Year-to-Date (YTD) loss worsened to 12.78 per cent from 12.4 per cent.
The stock activity level weakened as volume and value traded fell by 24.4 per cent and 47.8 per cent to 128.9 million units and N1.2 billion respectively with MTN Nigeria accounting for 33 per cent of turnover.
The top traded stocks by volume were FBN Holdings (30.9 million units), Transcorp (16 million units) and First City Monument Bank (11 million units) while top traded stocks by value were MTN Nigeria (N390.8 million), FBN Holdings (N162.1 million) and Zenith Bank (N148.6 million).
All sectoral indices ended bearish save for Oil & Gas index that gained with 0.2 per cent following bargain hunting in Conoil (6.3 per cent).
The Insurance index led losers, shedding 1.9 per cent due to losses in Continental Reinsurance (9.7 per cent), Wapic Insurance (5.1 per cent) and Mutual Benefits Assurance (8.5 per cent) while sell-offs in Dangote Cement (1.8 per cent) led to decline in the Industrial Goods index by one per cent.
In the same vein, the Banking index declined 0.4 per cent due to sell pressures in Zenith Bank (1.4 per cent) and Union Bank (2.2 per cent). The Consumer goods index also shed four basis points due to price depreciation in Flour Mills of Nigeria (1.9 per cent).
Also, Analysts at Vetiva Securities Limited said that, “Most of the stocks on the premium board and main board of the Exchange are trading at year-lows, thus, we do not rule out the possibility of bargain hunting across some of the fundamentally sound counters.”
The top gainers yesterday were AIICO Insurance adding 9.38 per cent from 64 kobo to 70 kobo while Conoil followed suit with 6.33 per cent to close at N17.65 from N16.60 per share and LASACO Assurance rose by 5.88 per cent from 34 kobo to 36 kobo.
The top losers were Redstar Express that declined from N5.28 to N4.76, losing 9.85 per cent, as Continental Reinsurance declined from N1.55 to N1.40, losing 15 kobo or 9.68 per cent and Jaiz Bank followed after losing 9.54 per cent, from 42 kobo to 38 kobo per share.