Trading at the stock market remained bearish wednesday as profit taking in banking stocks made the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) to close 0.06 per cent lower at 37,963.93. Similarly, market capitalisation shed N9.7 billion to close at N13.75 trillion.
As Profit taking on counters in the banking sector such as Zenith Bank Plc, GTBank, Access Bank Plc, Diamond Bank Plc and Fidelity Bank Plc led to the negative performance of the market. A total of 35 stocks depreciated while only 12 appreciated.
However, Japaul Oil & Maritime Plc led the price losers with 7.3 per cent, trailed by Eterna Plc with a decline of 5.0 per cent. First Aluminium Plc and Prestige Assurance Plc went down by 5.0 per cent apiece.
Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc, May & Baker Nigeria Plc shed 4.8 per cent and 4.4 per cent, while Equity Assurance Plc depreciated by 4.3 per cent. Regency Alliance Insurance Plc closed 4.0 per cent lower.
On the positive side, C & I Leasing Plc led the price gainers with 4.6 per cent, trailed by Unity Bank Plc with 4.4 per cent. Transcorp Plc and Union Bank of Nigeria Plc chalked up 4.2 per cent.
African Prudential Plc added 3.9 per cent, just as Total Nigeria Plc and Champion Breweries Plc went up by 3.7 per cent and 3.1 per cent in that order.
Meanwhile, the activity level improved as volume and value traded increased 43.9 per cent and 0.4 per cent to 372.2 million shares and N3.2 billion respectively. The most traded stocks by volume were Sterling Bank Plc (172.6 million shares), Zenith Bank Plc (31.5 million shares ) and Transcorp Plc (22.9 million shares) while Zenith Bank (N792.7 million), Presco Plc (N404.4 million) and Guinness Nigeria Plc (N277.9 million) were the top traded stocks by value.
In sectoral terms, three of five indices trended southwards. The NSE Insurance Index led the decliners with 0.8 per cent, trailed by the NSE Banking Index with 0.6 per cent. The NSE Consumer Goods Index closed in the red, shedding 0.2 per cent.
On other hand, the NSE Industrial Goods Index and NSE Oil & Gas Index appreciated 0.9 per cent and 0.3 per cent respectively following gains in Lafarge Africa (+2.4 per cent) and Total Nigeria (+3.7 per cent) .