Nigerian stocks encountered more strain on Wednesday as the benchmark index slowed 0.05 per cent to its lowest point in more than six weeks and trading activity remained subdued, stoking fears that the turning point needed for the market to reverse its negative year-to-date yield is not yet in the horizon.
Equity investors have been desperate since the week began to get rid of bank stocks at all cost, causing a glut of sales orders that is weakening their valuation and, by extension, the broad performance of stocks.
Sell-offs in Access, UBA, GTCO and Zenith were particularly damaging to performance, with investment bank United Capital leading the retreat.
Market breadth, often used to weigh investors’ attitude to trade, was negative as 17 losers emerged compared to 13 advancers.
The all-share index dropped 21.16 points to 38,852.16, while market capitalisation eased to N20.3 trillion at the end of trade.
Year to date, the index is down by 3.52 per cent.
TOP FIVE GAINERS
Transcorp Hotel led gainers, appreciating by 10 per cent to close at N4.95. Pharma Deko added 9.88 per cent to end today’s trade at N1.78. Conoil went up by 9.84 per cent to N24.55.
Cornerstone rose to N0.53, notching up 8.16 per cent in the process. NEM completed the top 5, climbing by 5.26 per cent to N2.
TOP FIVE LOSERS
Veritas was the worst performing stock, declining by 8.70 per cent to close at N0.21. UCAP fell to N8.55, losing 5 per cent. Chams dipped to N0.21, recording 4.55 per cent depreciation. Access shed 3.37 per cent to close at N8.60. Japaul closed at N0.46, going down by 2.13 per cent.
TOP 5 TRADES
In all, 155.8 million shares estimated at N1.5 billion were traded in 3,256 deals.
Universal Insurance was the most active stock with 19 million units of its shares worth N3.8 million traded in 8 deals. UBA transacted 18.8 million shares priced at N143.1 million in 165 trades.
Zenith traded 11.8 million shares estimated at N268.8 million in 370 transactions. GTCO traded 10 million shares valued at N271.3 million in 241 deals. UCAP had 8.5 million shares valued at N74.6 million traded in 170 deals.
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