The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) opened the week on Monday with a loss of 0.07 per cent, just as the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) retained key policy variables.
The MPC committee members at the end of the one-day virtual policy meeting retained all policy parameters.
They maintained the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 12.5 per cent; the asymmetric corridor around the MPR at +200/-500bps; Cash Reserves Ratio (CRR) at 27.5 per cent; and liquidity ratio at 30 per cent.
Consequently, the All-Share Index lost 18.08 points or 0.07 per cent to close at 24,269.58 compared with 24,287.66 on Friday.
Also, the market capitalisation dropped by N9 billion naira to close at N12.660 trillion in contrast with N12.669 on Friday.
The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in large and medium capitalised stocks, amongst which are; Cutix, Neimeth International, Zenith Bank, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated and Access Bank.
Analysts at Afrinvest Limited expected bargain hunting to drive gains in the next trading session.
Market breadth was slightly negative, with 12 gainers versus 13 losers.
Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals led the losers’ chart in percentage terms, dropping by 10 per cent, to close at N1.35, per share.
Cutix followed with 9.89 per cent to close at N1.64, while Chams lost 4.35 per cent to close at 22k per share.
Lasaco Assurance dropped 3.85 per cent to close at 25k, while Sterling Bank shed 3.20 per cent to close at N1.21, per share.
On the other hand, GlaxoSmithKline dominated the gainers’ chart in percentage terms, gaining 9.47 per cent, to close at N5.20, per share.
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Fidson came second with 9.43 per cent to close at N2.90, while Linkage Assurance appreciated by 9.38 per cent to close at 35k per share.
Unity Bank garnered 8.89 per cent to close at 49k, while Ardova Plc appreciated by 7.17 per cent to close at N13.45, per share.
In spite of the drop in market indices, the volume of shares traded rose by 90.09 per cent with an exchange of 305.10 million shares, valued at N2.10 billion in 3,258 deals.
This was in contrast with 160.50 million shares worth N1.47 billion traded in 2,997 deals on Friday.
Transactions in the shares of Sovereign Trust Insurance topped the activity chart with 75.56 million shares valued at N15.113 million.
United Bank for Africa followed with 70.71 million shares worth N441.89 million, while Guaranty Trust Bank sold 36.97 million shares valued at N3.71 million.
Japaul Oil & Maritime accounted for 17.42 million shares worth N3.71 million, while Zenith Bank transacted 10.60 million shares worth N68.10 million.