By Tanko Mohammed
The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) trading indices on Thursday lost N29 billion or 0.22 per cent, with market capitalisation closing at N13.115 trillion compared with N13.144 posted on Wednesday.
The long successive gains in previous trading were halted by profit-taking.
Besides, the All-Share Index, which opened at 25,221.23 dipped by 55.22 points or 0.22 per cent to close at 25,166.01.
Meanwhile, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria at the end of its one-day meeting voted to reduce the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) by 100 basis points to 12.50 per cent from 13.5 per cent.
This was in a bid to salvage the economy from the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic.
They, however, maintained the asymmetric corridor around the MPR at +200/-500bps, hold Cash Reserves Ratio (CRR) at 27.5 per cent and keep liquidity ratio at 30 per cent.
The downturn of trading on NSE was due to losses recorded in medium and large-capitalised stocks, among others.
ETI led the losers’ chart in percentage terms by 9.92 per cent to close at N5.45 per share.
Ikeja Hotel followed with 8.73 per cent to close at N1.15, while UBA shed 6.25 per cent to close at N6.75 per share.
Oando dipped by 5.71 per cent to close at N2.64, while Fidelity Bank lost 5.50 per cent to close at N1.89 per share.
Conversely, Cutix dominated the gainers’ chart in percentage terms by 9.94 per cent to close at N1.88 per share.
May & Baker Nigeria followed with 9.71 per cent to close at N3.39, while Champion Breweries improved by 9.64 per cent to close at 91k per share.
University Press grew by 9.62 per cent to close at N1.14, while Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals rose by 9.57 per cent to close at N1.03 per share.
Analysts at Afrinvest Limited expected bargain hunting to support market performance in the next trading session.
As a result of the losses, the total volume of shares traded decreased by 40.13 per cent as investors bought and sold 348.21 million shares, valued at N3.433 billion in 7,148 deals.
This was against a total of 581.61 million shares worth N5.59 billion achieved in 7,759 deals on Wednesday.
Transactions in the shares of FBN Holdings topped the activity chart with 47.39 million shares worth N261.94 million.
Access Bank trailed with 36.87 million shares valued at N270.71 million, while Zenith Bank traded 27.42 million shares worth N478.13 million.
UBA accounted for 25.02 million shares valued at N174.40 million, while Guaranty Trust Bank transacted 23.49 million shares worth N576.22 million.