Major blue chips posted price depreciation on the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) on Wednesday, forcing the market capitalisation to drop by N301 billion in one day.
Specifically, the market capitalisation which opened at N20.339 trillion lost N301 billion or 1.48 per cent to close at N20.038 trillion.
Also, the All-Share Index inched lower by 577.43 points or 1.48 per cent to close at 38,445.09 from 39,022.52 achieved on Tuesday.
The market downturn was driven by price depreciation in large and medium capitalised stocks, amongst which are Airtel Africa, BOC Gases, Dangote Cement, Dangote Sugar Refinery, and Northern Nigeria Flour Mills (NNFM).
The Chief Operating Officer, InvestData Ltd., Mr Ambrose Omordion, attributed the persistent bear run to profit taking and portfolio adjustment ocassioned by first quarter results.
Omordion said players were positioning in undervalued stocks with potential to beat inflation in the midst of rising yields in the fixed market and insecurity challenges.
He added that investors concern over high consumer price index, in spite of the slight decline in April inflation rate, at 18.12 per cent from 18.17 per cent in March, contributed to the persistent lull.
Omordion explained that rising inflation across the globe had been a major concern affecting the world market negatively in recent days and sessions, ahead of the Central Bank of Nigeria Monetary Policy Committee meeting next week.
“The current pullbacks are creating buy opportunities for discerning investors and traders,” Omordion said.
Market sentiment closed negative with 25 laggards in contrast with 23 gainers.
C & I Leasing and Airtel Africa dominated the losers’ chart in percentage terms with 10 per cent each to close at N4.50 and N837 per share.
BOC Gases followed with a decline of 9.96 per cent to close at N11.03 per share.
Royal Exchange shed 9.64 per cent to close at 75k, while NNFM depreciated by 8.94 per cent to close at N5.60 per share.
On the other hand, MRS Oil and Seplat recorded the highest gain to lead the gainers’ chart in percentage terms, gaining 10 per cent each to close at N12.10 and N682 per share, respectively.
Sterling Bank followed with a gain 9.74 per cent to close at N1.69 per share.
Japaul Gold and Ventures rose by 9.62 per cent to close at 57k, while Regency Alliance Insurance appreciated by 8.82 per cent to close at 37k per share.
Transactions in the shares of UACN topped the activity chart with an exchange of 10.01 million shares valued at N103.44 million.
Zenith Bank followed with 9.64 million shares worth N222.85 million, while Fidelity Bank traded 8.75 million shares valued at N19.84 million.
Transcorp traded 8.71 million shares worth N7.78 million, while Access Bank transacted 7.71 million shares valued at N63.55 million.
In all, the total volume of trades decreased by 24.9 per cent with a turnover of 153.64 million shares worth N2.45 billion exchanged in 3,494 deals.
This was in contrast with a total of 204.65 million shares valued at N1.84 billion transacted in 3,940 deals on Tuesday.