Equity transactions sustained sliding profile for the fifth consecutive trading session, occasioned by heavy profit taking, causing the All-Share Index (ASI) to plummet further by 0.5 per cent.

Specifically, at the close of transactions yesterday, ASI shed 162.52 absolute points, representing a decline of 0.48 per cent to close at 33,449.17 points, while the market capitalisation declined by N59 billion to close at N12.212 trillion.

The downturn was sustained by losses recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, including those of the Nigerian Breweries, Guaranty Trust Bank, Dangote Sugar, Forte Oil and UAC of Nigeria (UACN). Analysts at Afrinvest Limited said that yesterday’s session “saw higher sell pressures on major bellwethers.

Nonetheless, bearish sentiments remain. Against this backdrop, we maintain a near-term negative outlook for the market.” Market breadth closed negative, with 14 gainers against 30 losers, as Law Union and Rock Insurance recorded the highest price gain of 10 per cent, to close at 55 kobo per share.

Nestle Nigeria gained 9.59 per cent to close at N1,485 per share, while Regency Alliance Insurance appreciated by 9.52 per cent to close at 23 kobo per share. Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals appreciated by 9.09 per cent to close at 72 kobo, while Learn Africa gained 8.91 per cent to close at N1.10 per share.

On the other hand, Dangote Sugar Refinery and Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) led the losers’ chart by 10 per cent each, to close at N14.40 and N3.60 per share, respectively. Universal Insurance and Sunu Assurances shed 9.09 per cent each to close at 20 kobo and 30 kobo, respectively, while Japaul Oil and Maritime Services depreciated by 8.33 per cent to close at 22 kobo per share.

However, the total volume traded appreciated by 9.5 per cent to 150.67 million shares, worth N1.6 billion, in 3,678 deals. Transactions in the shares of Guaranty Trust Bank topped the activity chart, with 17.47 million shares valued at N562.78 billion.

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