The bears maintained dominance on the equities market yesterday, as more blue-chip stocks depreciated, resulting in a further decline in market capitalisation by N274 billion.
At the close of trading, the All-Share Index (ASI) dropped by 524.00 absolute points, representing a decline of 1.33 per cent to close at 38,781.48 points while the overall market capitalisation value lost N274 billion to close at N20.296 trillion.
The downturn was driven by price depreciation in large and medium capitalised stocks amongst which are; Guinness Nigeria, International Breweries, Ardova Plc, PZ Cussons Nigeria and UAC of Nigeria (UACN).
Analysts at Vetiva Dealing & Brokerage said: “With market breadth swinging into negative territory and activity levels subdued, we foresee another mixed session. We also note the possibility of further profit-taking on the recent gainers in the banking space.”
The market sentiment, as measured by market breadth, was negative, as 23 stocks declined, relative to 20 gainers. Consolidated Hallmark Insurance recorded the highest price gain of 10 per cent to close at 33 kobo. Portland Paints & Products Nigeria followed with a gain of 8.33 per cent to close at N2.60, while Royal Exchange went up by 7.14 per cent to close at 45 kobo.
Associated Bus Company rose by 6.90 per cent to close at 31 kobo, while Japaul Gold and Venture gained 5.17 per cent to close at 61 kobo. On the other hand, FTN Cocoa Processors led the losers’ chart by 10 per cent to close at 36 kobo.
Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals followed with a decline of 8.95 per cent to close at N1.73, while International Breweries lost 8.77 per cent to close at N5.20 kobo.
PZ Cussons Nigeria lost 7.41 per cent to close at N5.00 while Cornerstone Insurance shed 7.02 per cent to close at 53 kobo.
The total volume of trades increased by 2.8 per cent to 259.51 million units, valued at N1.91 billion, and exchanged in 3,547 deals. Transactions in the shares of FBN Holdings topped the activity chart with 69.478 million shares valued at N514.304 million.
Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp) followed with 36.724 million shares worth N32.972 million, while Zenith Bank traded 16.580 million shares valued at N366.425 million.
Sovereign Trust Insurance traded 12.58 million shares valued at N2.879 million, while United Capital transacted 8.886 million shares worth N50.222 million.