The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) market capitalisation opened trading for March on Monday, with a loss of N208 billion amid losses in blue chips.
Specifically, the market capitalisation which opened trading for the month at N13.657 trillion, dipped N208 billion to close at N13.449 trillion.
Also, the All Share Index lost 399.89 points or 1.53 per cent to 25,816.57 in contrast with 26,216.46 on Friday.
The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, amongst which were; Nestle Nigeria, Chemical and Allied Products, Lafarge Africa, Unilever and Guaranty Trust Bank.
Analysts at Afrinvest Limited expected the bearish sentiment to be sustained in the near term, although the market presented opportunity for bargain hunting.
Mr Ambrose Omordion, Chief Operating Officer, InvestData Ltd., attributed the development to mixed corporate earnings, depressed market sentiment and news of coronavirus in Nigeria.
Market breadth closed negative, with nine gainers compared with 28 losers.
Law Union and Rock Insurance recorded the highest gain to lead the gainers’ table in percentage terms, appreciating by 10 per cent to close at 99k per share.
AIICO Insurance followed with 7.79 per cent to close at 83k, while Eterna appreciated by 5.53 per cent to close at N2.10 per share.
FCMB Group rose by 5.26 per cent to close at N1.80, while Courteville Business Solutions appreciated by five per cent to close at 21k per share.
Conversely, Lafarge Africa, Nestlé Nigeria, PZ Cussons Nigeria and Unilever led the losers’ chart in percentage terms, dropping by 10 per cent each, to close at N13.95, N1,017, N4.05 and 13.50, per share, respectively.
Nigerian Aviation Handling Company and CAP followed with a decline of 9.96 per cent each, to close at N2.35 and N22.15, respectively, while Learn Africa dropped 9.82 to close at N1.01per share.
The total volume of shares traded closed lower with an exchange of 325.26 million shares worth N6.03 billion traded in 5,054 deals.
This was in contrast with a turnover of 416.30 million shares valued N6.19 billion transacted in 5,220 deals on Friday.
Transactions in the shares of Guaranty Trust Bank topped the activity chart with 93.69 million shares valued N2.14 billion.
Zenith Bank followed with 44.19 million shares worth N798.45 billion, while United Bank for Bank (UBA) traded 18.39 million shares valued N121.26 million.
Fidelity Bank traded 17.66 million shares valued N32.27 million, while FBN Holdings Groups transacted 16.76 million shares worth N79.07 million.