By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The first trading day of the week on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) kicked off on Wednesday on a very negative note with a total of N225 billion lost by investors at the close of business.
The market had resumed for transactions today from the Christmas break observed on Monday and Tuesday, but the huge profit-taking by investors plunged the benchmark index into the red zone by 1.64 percent.
Business Post reports that the All-Share Index (ASI) went down by 632.57 points to settle at 37,889.57 points, while the market capitalisation decreased by N225 billion.
Other sector indices finished lower today except the NSEOILGAS, which increased by 0.48 percent to finish at 317.44 points.
The NSE30 declined by 1.40 percent today to close at 1,726.96 points; the NSE50 went down by 1.47 percent to finish at 1,930.91 points; the NSEBNK fell by 0.31 percent to end at 472.25 points; and the NSE Consumer Goods depreciated by 1.17 percent to wrap the day at 956.60 points.
Observers and analysts informed Business Post that this trend may likely continue throughout the three-day trading sessions for this week as investors would like to quickly sell off to take profit as the year 2017 wraps up.
Our correspondent reports that the year-to-date return deflated to 40.99 percent after the midweek trade. Similarly, the market breadth closed negative after the stock market finished with 22 price losers and 14 gainers.
The losers’ chart was led by Dangote Cement, which fell by N9.50k to close at N230.50k per share, and Nigerian Breweries, which depreciated by N5.96k to finish at N134.4k per share.
Okomu Oil slumped by N3.56k to end at N67.69k per share, Presco lost N3.50k to settle at N68.50k per share, while PZ Cussons went down by 76k to close at N20.62k per share.
On the flip side, Mobil topped the gainers’ log on Wednesday after increasing by N8.31k to close at N178.31k per share.
It was followed by Cadbury, which appreciated by N1.42k to finish at N15.75k per share, and Dangote Sugar, which grew by 51k to end at N20.15k per share.
Eterna increased by 12k to finish at N4.35k per share, while Fidelity Bank advanced by 11k to settle at N2.49k per share.
At the close of business on Wednesday, the volume of equities transacted went up by 108.31 percent from 204.485 million to 425.960 million, while the total value of shares exchanged rose by 38.63 percent from N1.5 billion to N2.1 billion.
The Financial Services sector led the activity chart today with 313.6 million shares exchanged for N2.3 billion, while the Conglomerates industry followed with 107.5 million shares traded for N160 million.
Transcorp was the busiest stock on Wednesday, exchanging a total of 107 million units of shares worth N154.8 million.
It was followed by Fidelity Bank, which sold 94 million shares valued at N220.8 million, and Skye Bank, which transacted 51.7 million shares for N25.8 million.
AIICO traded 40 million shares at N20.9 million, while FBN Holdings executed 37.9 million shares worth N340.9 million.
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