Index closes negative as market cap drops N17bn
By Ifeanyi Onuba
Major market indicators closed on a negative note on the first trading day after the Easter break.
While the market capitalisation of the 303 listed equities depreciated by a further N17bn or 0.4 per cent from N4.505tn last Thursday to N4.488tn, the All-Share-Index of the NSE lost the same margin, dropping from 19,913.86 to 19,837.41.
Analysts attributed the decline to profit taking activities of investors that saw more equities falling in value.
They argued that many of the shares still traded around their corrected levels, adding that the issue of liquidity remained a critical factor affecting volume traded.
Despite the downward trend, the banking sub-sector continued to delight investors as it led on the activity chart.
It traded 103.999 million shares, valued at N757.090m in 2,916 transactions, representing 59 per cent of total volume.
Turnover in the sub-sector was largely boosted by activity in the shares of Intercontinental Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and First City Monument Bank Plc.
Trading in the shares of the three banks accounted for 44.205 million shares, valued at N405.660m in 694 transactions, representing 43 per cent of the sub-sector?s turnover.
The insurance sub-sector followed on the activity chart, trading 26.453 million shares valued at N27.373m in 346 deals, representing 15 per cent of total volume traded.
Trading in the shares of AIICO Insurance Plc, boosted activity in the sub-sector, trading 13.042 million shares, valued at N13.174m in 113 deals.
On the price gainers? chart, 32 stocks appreciated in price with Nestle Nigeria Plc leading the gainers? chart. It gained N3.00 to close at N150.00 per share.
Oando Plc and Benue Cement Company Plc followed closely, appreciating by N3.00 and N1.12 to close at N68.00 and N23.96 per share respectively.
On the other hand, the shares of African Petroleum Plc led the gainers? chart, dropping by N4.24 to close at N80.74 per share, while Union Bank of Nigeria Plc followed, shedding 52 kobo to close at N11.40 per share.
In all, investors staked N1.248bn on 177.371 million shares in 5,510 deals, compared with 261.363 million shares, valued at N1.615bn traded on Thursday in 6,632 transactions.