The Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited further declined by 0.05 per cent on Thursday, the last trading session before the Easter break, due to persistent profit-taking by investors.
This brought down the All-Share Index (ASI) by 24.84 points to 52,994.13 points from 53,018.97 points amid sustained weak investor sentiment.
Equally, the market capitalisation of the exchange depreciated by N14 billion to N28.869 trillion from N28.883 trillion after 19 stocks closed on the losers’ table and nine stocks finished on the gainers’ chart, indicating a negative market breadth.
Data showed that University Press went down by 10.00 per cent Thursday to sell at N1.80, Sterling Bank declined by 7.50 per cent to N1.48, Coronation Insurance fell by 6.98 per cent to 40 Kobo, Eterna depreciated by 5.98 per cent to N5.50, and FTN Cocoa dropped 3.57 per cent to quote at 27 Kobo.
On the flip side, AIICO Insurance gained 5.26 per cent to trade at 60 Kobo, Academy Press rose by 4.65 per cent to N1.35, Chams appreciated by 4.35 per cent to 24 Kobo, UBA expanded by 2.40 per cent to N8.55, and Champion Breweries jumped by 2.00 per cent to N5.10.
At the close of business, a total of 267.0 million shares valued at N1.9 billion exchanged hands in 3,651 deals compared with the 197.3 million shares valued at N2.7 billion traded in 3,506 deals on Wednesday, representing a decline in the trading value by 29.63 per cent, an increase in the trading volume by 35.33 per cent, and an increase in the number of deals by 4.14 per cent.
Transcorp was the busiest stock of the day as it transacted 147.2 million units worth N205.7 million and was trailed by Zenith Bank, which sold 19.1 million units worth N487.1 million. UBA traded 18.0 million shares worth N152.4 million, Access Holdings exchanged 12.1 million equities valued at N108.9 million, and Axa Mansard sold 7.4 million stocks for N16.3 million.
A look at the sectorial performance revealed that the insurance space grew by 0.10 per cent on Thursday, as the banking counter improved by 0.08 per cent.
However, the consumer goods index lost 0.17 per cent, the energy sector also fell by 0.17 per cent, and the industrial goods space depreciated by 0.04 per cent.
There would be no trading of stocks at Customs Street on Friday as a result of the public holidays declared by the federal government for the celebration of Easter. The market is expected to open next Tuesday.