By Samuel Bankole
Nigeria’s equities market took a step back on Wednesday following a series of gains in recent days that had propelled the market index to a historic peak just the day before.
Trading activities on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) witnessed a marginal decline as sell-offs in tier-1 banking stocks dominated transactions, causing the main market index to dip by 0.08 percent by the close of the market.
The NGX All-Share Index, which had enjoyed three consecutive days of upward momentum, retreated by 0.08 percent to conclude the session at 66,439.53 points.
Traders attributed the downward pressure to the sell-offs in tier-1 banking giants like Zenith Bank, Stanbic IBTC and Guaranty Trust Bank Holding Company (GTCO), despite gains in other major stocks.
Shares of Zenith Bank fell by 1.79 percent, while GTCO shares witnessed a 0.95 percent drop, and Stanbic IBTC experienced a 0.16 percent decline, effectively offsetting the positive performance of other major stocks.
Conversely, Lafarge Africa’s shares saw a 2.11 percent increase, the United Bank for Africa recorded a 0.73 percent uptick in its shares, and Dangote Sugar gained 1.48 percent, providing some respite amid the broader market retreat.
Nevertheless, the year-to-date return of the All-Share Index fell to 29.64 percent, and the year-to-date market capitalization declined marginally to 30.26 percent.
Overall, the collective market capitalization of stocks listed on the NGX contracted by 27.81 billion to reach 36.36 trillion at the session’s close.
Analysis of Wednesday’s market activities indicated a higher trade turnover compared to the previous session, with transaction values increasing by 11.08 percent.
In total, 637.19 million shares valued at N7.79 billion changed hands in 10,033 deals.
Transcorp (-9.99 percent) took the lead in both volume and value charts, with 292.41 million units traded in transactions worth 2.15 billion.
Market breadth concluded on a negative note with a ratio of 1.05 to 1, as declining issues outpaced advancing ones. Transcorp’s shares headed the list of nineteen decliners, while UPL (+9.77 percent) led the list of eighteen gainers.
(Edited by Oludare Mayowa; firstname.lastname@example.org; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)