By Kayode Tokede
The nation’s bourse on Wednesday shed its gaining streak due to sell pressure in large capitalised stocks as the All-Share Index recorded the first loss in seven consecutive trading sessions.
Consequently, the All-Share Index lost 90.80 points or 0.26 per cent to close at 35,056.82 basis points against 35,147.62 basis points recorded on Tuesday.
Also, the market capitalisation which opened at N18.364 trillion dipped N41.97 billion to close at N18.322 trillion.
Sector performances were broadly negative today as the Consumer Goods (-1.81 per cent), Banking (-0.80 per cent), Oil & Gas (-0.72 per cent) and Industrial (-0.02 per cent) sectors all closed negatively.
The downtrend was driven by price depreciation in medium and large capitalised stocks including Nigerian Breweries, Chemical and Allied Products, Guaranty Trust Bank, Northern Nigeria Flour Mills (NNFM) and Flour Mills.
Market sentiment as measured by market breadth was negative, with 22 losers and 19 gainers.
C &I Leasing led the losers’ chart in percentage terms, dropping 9.90 per cent to close at N4.46 per share.
AXA Mansard followed with 9.70 per cent to close at N2.14, while NNFM declined by 9.67 per cent to close at N6.26 per share.
Capital Hotel lost 9.09 per cent to close at N2.20, while Nigerian Breweries shed 7.05 per cent to close at N56 per share.
On the other hand, AIICO Insurance topped the gainers’ chart in percentage terms, gaining 9.90 per cent to close at N1.11 per share.
Regency Alliance Insurance followed with 9.09 per cent to close at 24k, while FTN Cocoa Processors rose by 8.70 per cent to close at 25k per share.
Union Diagnostics and Clinical Services rose by eight per cent to close at 27k, while Cornerstone Insurance appreciated by 7.41 per cent to close at 58k per share.
However, the total volume of shares traded increased by 19.72 per cent with 368.97 million shares valued at N5.49 billion exchanged in 4,598 deals.
This was against 308.78 million shares worth N3.40 billion transacted in 4,515 deals on Tuesday.
Transactions in the shares of Access Bank topped the activity chart with 46.34 million shares valued at N403.14 million.
FBN Holdings sold 44.43 million shares worth N325.49 million, while Zenith Bank traded 44.02 million shares valued at N1.06 billion.
Guaranty Trust Bank accounted for 39.003 million shares worth N1.33 billion, while Dangote Sugar Refinery transacted 31.44 million shares valued at N619.08 million.
Analysts at InvestmentOne research said, “The equities market closed down today due to the losses recorded in major sectors. Going forward, we expect investor’s sentiments to be swayed by the search for real positive returns amidst a low interest-rate environment. Nonetheless, we reiterate that this may be a great period to pick up some quality names with a medium to long-term investment horizon.”