By Dipo Olowookere
The stock market in Nigeria reacted negatively to the shooting of peaceful protesters at the Lekki area of Lagos State on Tuesday night by the Nigerian Army.
For about two weeks, some youths in the country have staged protests across the country, calling for police reform and an end to bad governance.
Efforts to get them off the streets were futile and yesterday, some men of the Nigerian forces opened fire on demonstrators at the Lekki Toll Plaza, who had remained peaceful since the protest began.
On Wednesday, at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), investors, who were keeping a tab on happenings in the country, especially in Lagos, where the bourse is headquartered, embarked on a selloff.
Despite the 24-hour curfew imposed on the state by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, some hoodlums went on a rampage this morning, destroying some government and private properties, including the City Mall, bus stations, the Oba of Lagos palace, Television Continental (TVC) head office, the family house of Governor Sanwo-Olu and others.
The events led to the panic button pressed by market participants at the exchange, who reduced the stocks in the portfolio for cash and watch things from the sidelines.
At the close of transactions, the value of the stock market reduced by N133 billion to N14.870 trillion from N14.983 trillion, while the All-Share Index (ASI) went down by 216.33 points to 28,449.49 points from 28,665.82 points.
Business Post reports that 326.6 million stocks worth N4.2 billion were transacted today in 4,367 deals compared with 297.3 million shares worth N2.9 billion traded in 4,736 deals recorded on Tuesday.
UBA was the most traded stock at the midweek session, trading 40.3 million units worth N272.2 million and was trailed by Zenith Bank, which transacted 39.6 million units valued at N800.9 million.
In addition, GTBank exchanged 38.2 million stocks worth N1.1 billion, Transcorp traded 31.2 million equities valued at N18.7 million, while FBN Holdings exchanged 30.0 million shares valued at N181.0 million.
On the price movement chart, MTN Nigeria ended the session as the worst-performing stock, losing N2 to finish at N138 per unit, while Guinness Nigeria lost N1 to close at N16 per share.
Lafarge Africa depreciated by 80 kobo to settle at N17.30 per unit, Ardova also declined by 80 kobo to sell for N11.90 per share, while Julius Berger depreciated by 55 kobo to close at N16.80 per unit.
Business Post reports that the market recorded four price gainers today and they were led by Nigerian Breweries, which appreciated by 50 kobo to trade at N52 per unit.
Portland Paints gained 5 kobo to settle at N2.05 per unit, Wapic Insurance appreciated by 4 kobo to quote at 44 kobo per unit, while UAC Property grew by one kobo to close at 82 kobo per share.
A look at the sectorial performance showed that apart from the insurance sector, which gained 0.57 per cent, every other sector closed in the red territory.
The banking index depreciated by 1.70 per cent, the industrial goods counter lost 0.34 per cent, the energy index declined by 0.30 per cent, while the consumer goods space lost 0.13 per cent.
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