By Samuel Bankole
Nigeria’s equity market marginally declined on Wednesday due to negative sentiment, as the main index dropped by 0.03 percent amid investors’ profit-taking on Airtel Africa Plc and 11 other stocks.
The main market indicator, the All Share Index (ASI), declined by 14.33 points, or 0.03 percent, to close at 56,024.52 points from 56,038.85 points previously.
Also, market capitalization decreased by N7 billion to close at N30.506 trillion from N30.154 trillion when the market opened for trading the previous day.
The market indicators were impacted by losses recorded in medium- and large-capitalized stocks, amongst which are Airtel Africa, Flour Mills of Nigeria, Nigerian Exchange Group, Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN), and Lafarge Africa.
The total volume traded closed with an exchange of 397.625 million units valued at 6.54 billion traded in 5,613 deals. However, the market breadth was positive, with 32 gainers as against 12 losers.
The NGX 30 Index marginally increased by 0.01 percent to close at 2,023.91 points as against 2,023.69 points at the previous close.
Market turnover closed with a traded volume of 155.80 million units. FCMB and UBA were the key gainers, while UBN and Flour Mills were the key losers.
The total volume traded increased by 23.30 percent to 397.625 million units, valued at N6.537 billion, and exchanged in 5,613 deals. Transactions in the shares of NPF Microfinance Bank topped the activity chart with 100.762 million shares valued at N181.373 million.
Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCO) followed with 43.031 million shares worth N1.197 billion, while Japaul Gold & Ventures traded 27.838 million shares valued at N11.541 million.
Fidelity Bank traded 24.297 million shares valued at N140.898 million, while Access Holdings sold 23.021 million shares worth N293.044 million.
On the money market, rates at both the interbank lending window and foreign exchange market traded flat, with the interest rate closing at 12 percent for the overnight (O/N) rate and the open repo (OPR) rate remaining unchanged at 11.62 percent.
At the I&E FX market, the naira closed flat at N464.67 to the dollar, the same level it traded the previous day, according to data from the FMDQ.
Traders said most participants in the market maintained bids between N460.00 and N476.00 per dollar.
At the Treasury Bills secondary market, rates closed on a flat note, with the average yield across the curve remaining unchanged at 6.16 percent. Average yields across short-term, medium-term, and long-term maturities closed flat at 4.49 percent, 5.30 percent, and 6.84 percent, respectively.
At the Primary Market Auction held today, the CBN offered NT-bill maturities worth N182.85 billion across 91-day (N1.03 billion), 182-day (N1.93 billion), and 364-day (N179.89 billion) tenors.
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