The All Share Index declined -0.08 per cent to close at 44,848.74 point on Thursday after hitting 44885.24 point the previous day, the highest since September 2008 when it closed 48361.51 point.
The Nigerian bourse has delivered 17.27 per cent year-to-date return, one of the highest globally and it grew 42.3 per cent to emerge the third best performed equities market globally in 2017.
Bargain hunters decided to take some profits after some rallies, claimed Moses Ojo, analyst Panafrican Capitals Plc.
Nestle (N1500), Cement of Northern Nigeria (N17.78) and FBNH (N14.75) topped the gainers listed, adding N20, N.164 and N0.99 respectively. On the other hand, Nigerian Breweries (N142), Presco (N68.69) and Unilever (N45) were the top three losers, shedding -N4.05, -N3.61 and -N2.02 respectively.
A total of 1.34 billion shares worth N10.73 billion were traded in 11,355 deals with the banking sector emerging the most active sector on Thursday. Transcorp (211,305,702), Wema Bank (157,848,171) and FCMB (143,569,301) were the most traded stocks.
The market has been rallying since oil price rebounded in April 2016 and the country’s forex market improved, following the introduction of the Investors’ and Exporters’ Forex Windowon April 24, 2017, which helped raise investors’ confidence in the capital market.
Downward movement of the country’s inflation which stood at 15.37 per cent in December 2017, Nigeria’s improvement in World Bank’s Better Ease of Doing Business Index and its exit from recession in the second quarter of last year also buoyed the performance of the equities market.