The nation’s stock market extended its decline on Thursday as the market capitalisation dropped below N21tn.
The Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index fell by 0.31 per cent to close at 40,095.49 basis points from 40,221.30 basis points on Wednesday.
The market capitalisation of equities declined to N20.98tn on Thursday from N21.04bn on Wednesday.
A total of 326.04 million shares valued at N371bn were traded in 4,567 deals on Thursday.
Twenty-four firms saw their share prices drop at the end of trading on the floor of the NSE.
LASACO Assurance Plc, which led the losers, shed 9.68 per cent to close at N1.12 per share. It was followed by Fidson Healthcare Plc which lost 8.41 per cent to close at N4.90 per share.
Ecobank Transnational Incorporated declined by 6.31 per cent to close at N5.20 per share; Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc fell by 5.13 per cent to N0.37 per share; while UAC of Nigeria Plc lost 5.03 per cent to close at N7.55 per share.
Eighteen stocks gained on Thursday, with Chams Plc, Royal Exchange Plc, Wema Bank Plc and Red Star Express Plc emerging as the biggest gainers.
Chams appreciated by 9.09 per cent to close at N0.24 per share; while Royal Exchange gained eight per cent to close at N0.27 per share.
Wema Bank rose by 7.69 per cent to N0.70 per share; while Red Star Express increased by 5.77 per cent to N3.30 per share.
Analysts at Cordros Capital Limited said the bourse retraced in Thursday’s session, as investors took profits off Nigerian Breweries Plc, Access Bank Plc and Zenith Bank Plc.
They said the month-to-date and year-to-date losses increased to 5.5 per cent and 0.4 per cent respectively.
The analysts said, “The total volume traded declined by 30.6 per cent to 326.04 million units, valued at N3.71bn and exchanged in 4,567 deals. TRANSCORP was the most traded stock by volume at 48.44 million units, while Zenith Bank was the most traded stock by value at N637.59m.
“Performance across sectors was broadly negative, as three out of our five coverage indices – banking (-1.4 per cent), consumer goods (-0.8 per cent), and oil and gas (-0.2 per cent) – closed in the red. The insurance (+0.2) index was the lone gainer of the day, while the industrial goods index closed flat.”