The equities market of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Wednesday depreciated by 0.6 per cent, as blue-chip stocks recorded profit-taking causing the index to fall below the 30 thousand mark.
The All Share Index (ASI) declined 175.89 basis points, representing a decrease of 0.6 per cent to close at 29,900.11 basis points from 30,076 basis points it opened for trading.
Similarly, Market Capitalization declined by N66.78 billion representing a dip of 0.6 per cent to close at N11.236 trillion from N11.303 trillion it opened for trading.
However, Market breadth closed positive recording 26 gainers as against 14 losers while YTD return declined to -4.9 per cent.
Activity level weakened as volume and value traded slipped 3.6 per cent and 27.8 per cent to 304.9 million units and N2.6 billion respectively.
The top traded stocks by volume were Japaul Oil (92.3 million units), Access Bank (27.5 million units) and UBA (25.9 million units) while Zenith Bank (N543.6 million), Guaranty Trust Bank (N515.2 million) and Unilever Plc (N315.6 million) led the top traded stocks by value.
The Banking and Insurance indices advanced 0.9 per cent and 0.8 per cent respectively following gains in Zenith Bank (+2.2 per cent), United Bank of Africa (+2.2 per cent) and AIICO Insurance (+5.6 per cent).
On the other hand, the Oil & Gas index led decliners, down 4.6 per cent due to sell-offs in Seplat Petroleum (-4.4 per cent), Oando Plc (-5.9 per cent) and Mobil (-2.7 per cent).
Profit taking in Nestle Nigeria (-1.9 per cent), International Breweries (-8.7 per cent) and Dangote Cement (-0.9 per cent) drove the Consumer Goods and Industrial Goods southward by 1.1 per cent and 0.7 per cent respectively.
Analysts at Afrinvest Limited said that “We anticipate a bearish outlook in subsequent sessions as investors look to take profit amidst the corporate earnings season.”
Dangote Flour Mills Plc was the best performing stock, topped the gainers’ chart with 9.79 per cent to close at N12.90 from N11.75 per share, an up of N1.15.
BOC Gases Nigeria Plc followed suit with N0.37 or 9.76 per cent to close at N4.16 from N3.79 per share while Fidson Healthcare Plc appreciated by 9.64 per cent, opened at N4.15 and closed at N4.55, an of up N0.40 per share.
Japaul Oil and Maritime Services Plc grew by 9.09 per cent or N0.02 from N0.22 and closed at N0.24, while Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc gained 8.93 per cent to close at N0.61 from N0.56, an increase of N0.05 per share.
On the other hand, Conoil Plc led the losers’ chart, dropping by 9.57 per cent or N2.20 to close at N20.80 from N23 per share. International Breweries Plc followed with a loss of 8.70 per cent or N2 to close at N21 from N23 per share, while AG Leventis Plc fell by 7.14 per cent or N0.02 to close at N0.26 from N0.28 per share
Other losers are Oando Plc shed 5.88 per cent or N0.30 to close at N4.80 from N5.10 per share, Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc declined by 4.39 per cent to close at N545 from N570 per share.