The domestic equities market sustained its bearish trend on Wednesday due to losses recorded by MTN Nigeria Communications (MTNN) and 13 others.
Specifically, the market capitalisation inched lower by N75 billion or 0.34 per cent to close at N22.050 trillion from N22.125 trillion recorded on Tuesday.
Also, the All-Share Index lost 144.35 points or 0.34 per cent to close at 42,244.22, against 42,388.57 recorded on Tuesday.
Consequently, the month-to-date loss increased to 2.3 per cent, while the year-to-date return moderated to 4.9 per cent.
The market negative performance was driven by price depreciation in large and medium capitalised stocks — MTNN, Lafarge Africa, Zenith Bank, Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN) and FBN Holdings (FBNH).
On market performance, analysts at Afrinvest Limited said that “We expect the market to trend southwards in the next trading session, driven by weak investor sentiment.”
However, market breadth closed positive with 17 gainers, relative to 14 decliners.
Royal Exchange led the losers’ chart in percentage terms by 6.67 per cent to close at 70k per share.
Lasaco Assurance followed with 6.36 per cent to close at N1.03, while UBN lost 5.15 per cent to close at N4.60 per share.
FCMB Group declined by 4.33 per cent to close at N2.87, while Oando shed 3.96 per cent to close at N4.37 per share.
On the other hand, Cutix and May & Baker Nigeria topped the gainers’ chart in percentage terms by 10 per cent each to close at N2.64 and N4.51 per share, respectively.
UACN Property Development Company followed with a gain of 7.76 per cent to close at N1.25 per share.
Consolidated Hallmark Insurance rose by 5.08 per cent to close at 62k, while Chams appreciated by five per cent to close at 21k per share.
Transactions in the shares of UAC of Nigeria (UACN) topped the activity chart with 77.37 million shares valued at N696.47 billion.
Mutual Benefits Assurance followed with 15.04 million shares worth N4.33 million, while Sovereign Trust Insurance traded 12.15 million shares valued at N3.01 million.
Veritas Kapital Assurance traded 9.633 million shares valued at N2.02 million, while Access Bank transacted 8.98 million shares worth N80.90 million.
In all, the total volume of shares traded decreased by 18.8 per cent to 224.03 million units valued at N2.66 billion exchanged in 2,677 deals.
This was in contrast with 275.93 million shares worth N3.94 billion traded in 3,489 deals on Tuesday.