Transactions on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Wednesday extended downward trend with the All-Share Index losing 441.16 points in one trading day.
The index which opened at 41,243.24 shed 441.16 points or 1.07 per cent to close at 40,802.08 amid losses by some highly capitalized equities.
Similarly, the market capitalization lost N159 billion or 1.07 per cent to close at N14.740 trillion compared with N14.899 trillion achieved on Tuesday.
Market analysts attributed the trend, in spite of impressive 2017 corporate earnings, to weak inflow of funds into the market.
Mr Ambrose Omordion, the Chief Operating Officer, InvestData Ltd., said that
major market players had continued to take profit.
Omordion said that they had factored in earnings numbers into their pricing before now, given that the stock market was a discounting machine that prices the future into the present.
He also said that the outcome of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting slated for April 3 and 4 was another factor affecting the market, as investors await outcome of the two-day meeting.
Omordion said that investors had developed “wait and see attitude’’ as the outcome of the meeting which would give clear direction of the interest rate and economy in general.
Conversely, Lafarge Africa recorded the highest loss, declining by N2.30 to close at N46.40 per share.
Dangote Cement trailed with a loss of N2 to close at N253, while Total declined by N1.70 to close at N238.30 per share.
Guaranty Trust Bank dropped by 85k to close at N42.75, while Ecobank Transnational was down by 75k to close at N16.35 per share.
On the other hand, GlaxosmithKline led the gainers’ table, gaining N3.10 to close at N34 per share.
Unilever followed with a gain of N2.55 to close at N55, while Stanbic IBTC gained N1.70 to close at N48 per share.
Nestle increased by N1.30 to close at N1,340, while PZ Industries added N1 to close at N23 per share.
In spite of the drop in the market indices, the volume of shares traded rose by 51.66 per cent as investors bought and sold 535.19 million shares valued at N3.66 billion in 4,717 deals.
This was in contrast with 352.89 million shares worth N4.14 billion transacted in 4,807 deals on Tuesday.
Champion Breweries was the most active stock for the day, exchanging 153.90 million shares valued at N397.08 million.
Skye Bank followed with an account of 104.65 million shares worth N81.63 million, while Sterling Bank sold 41.24 million shares valued at N72.22 million.
FBN Holdings traded 28.51 million shares worth N346.78 million, while Lasaco Insurance exchanged 23.98 million shares valued at N8.15 million.