Trading activities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, for the third consecutive day maintained a downward trend on Thursday as market capitalisation lost over N261 billion amidst panic offloading of equities by equities shareholders.
The market capitalization, which opened at N12.170 trillion on Wednesday, lost N261 billion, or 2.14 per cent at the close oftrading on Thursday to close at N11.909 trillion.
Also, the All-Share Index, ASI, lost 786.08 basis points, representing 2.14 per cent, to close lower at 35,958.38, compared with 36,744.46 posted on Tuesday following huge losses.
Analysts attributed the persistent bearish trend at the exchange to the exit of foreign investors due to the drop in oil price at the international market.
Crude oil prices, which stood at an average above $110 per barrel at the beginning of the year, has been on the slide in recent times, hovering at an average of $86.17 per barrel as at Wednesday. The benchmark for crude oil for the 2014 budget was fixed at $79 per barrel.
The market operators says the current downward trend in market was attributable to the political uncertainties in the country as a result of the 2015 general elections, which has shifted government attention aware from the economy.
Analysis of the price movement chart indicated that 50 equities recorded price depreciation on Thursday, with Nestle recording the highest price loss by N49 to close at N931 per share.
The company was followed by 7UP, which lost about N14 to close at N141, while Lafarge Wapco dropped N9.67 to close at N89.61 per share.
Nigerian Breweries lost N4.94 to close at N151, while Total Oil depreciated by N2.71 to close at N155 per share.
On the other hand, eight equities recorded price appreciation for Wednesday, with Diamond Bank topping the gainers’ chart, with a gain of 20 kobo to close at N5.80 per share.
Sterling Bank garnered 11 kobo to close at N2.41, while Mansard grew by 10 kobo to close at N3.10 per share.
May & Baker increased by 8 kobo to close at N1.72, while Omoluabi Savings and Loans gained 2 kobo to close at 57 kobo per share.
In all, investors staked N4.02 billion on 400.23 million shares traded in 4,374 deals.This was against 752.77 million shares worth N4.18 billion traded in 4,997 deals on Tuesday.
The Financial Service Sector kept its leading position as the toast of investors with 320.05 million shares worth N2.74 billion in 2725 deals.
The Banking sub-sector drove activities in the sector, accounting for 164.21 million shares valued at N2billion achieved in 1,692 deals.