The downtrend on the Nigerian equities market continued to the second consecutive trading day on Wednesday, declining 0.02 per cent, on the back of losses by medium and large capitalised stocks.

The All-Share Index (ASI) decreased by 4.55 points, representing  0.02 per cent drop to close at 29,458.21, compared to 29,462.76 the previous day, while the market capitalisation shed Nthree billion, representing 0.02 per cent to close at N15.173 trillion instead of N15.176 trillion recorded on Tuesday.

The downturn was impacted by loses recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, amongst which are, Julius Berger, Flour Mills of Nigeria, NASCON, Lafarge Africa and Zenith Bank.

Capital market analysts attributed the decline to profit taking embarked by investors on highly capitalised equities.

Analysts at Afrinvest Limited expected bargain hunting to dominate the market in the near term.

The market breadth closed with 15 gainers and 18 losers.

Law Union and Rock Insurance dominated the gainers’ table in percentage terms, gaining 10 per cent to close at 60k per share.

AIICO Insurance followed with a gain of 8.64 per cent to close at 88k, while Honeywell Flour Mills rose by 8.33 per cent to close at N1.17 per share.

Cutix improved by 5.15 per cent to close at N1.43, while Abbey Mortgage Bank rose by five per cent to close at N1.05 per share.

Conversely, Julius Berger led the laggards’ table in percentage terms, dropping by 6.76 per cent to close at N20 per share.

NASCON trailed with a loss of 4.46 per cent, to close at N15, while Courteville shed 4.17 per cent to close at 23k per share.

Transcorp dipped by 3.74 per cent to close at N1.03, while Lasaco Assurance went down by 3.70 per cent, to close at 26k per share.

Total volume traded rose by 15.7 per cent to 315.67 million shares, valued at N3.64 billion, and exchanged in 4,392 deals.

Transactions in the shares of Austin Laz topped the activity chart with an exchange of 85 million shares valued at N174.41 million.

Access Bank traded 60.52 million shares worth N600.92 million, while Guaranty Trust Bank sold 26.46 million shares valued at N849.98 million.

Zenith Bank accounted for 25.73 million shares worth N564.76 million, while United Bank for Africa traded 16.86 million shares valued at N144.05 million.

In all, investors bought and sold 315.67 million shares worth N3.64 billion achieved in 4,392 deals.

This was in contrast with a turnover of 272.84 million shares valued at N3.71 billion shares transacted in 4,945 deals on Tuesday. (NAN)