The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index declined by 0.14 per cent to close at 32,108.92 wenesday, as the bears banking stocks led the return of the bears to the stock market.
The market had recorded a margin growth on Tuesday with the NSE ASI rising by 0.03 per cent. However, the gains of the previous day were pared wednesday, making the index to close lower at 32,108.92. Similarly, market capitalisation shed N16.1 billion to close at N11.7 trillion.
The negative performance has pushed the month-to-date and year-to-date decline to 1.10 per cent and 16.04 per cent, respectively.
Sell pressure in Zenith Bank Plc, Diamond Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc, Transcorp Plc and Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc caused the decline.
However, the 15 price losers for the day was led by Diamond Bank Plc with 9.5 per cent. The bank has been in the news lately with speculation of possible acquisition by a rival bank. But both financial institutions denied the speculations.
Eterna Plc closed as the highest price loser with 9.1 per cent, trailed by Jaiz Bank Plc with 9.0 per cent. Linkage Assurance Plc shed 8.8 per cent, just as NPF Microfinance Bank Plc and Veritas Kapital shed 8.1 per cent and 8.0 per cent in that order.
Other top price losers included: Japual Oil & Maritime Services Plc (4.7 per cent); University Press Plc (2.5 per cent); Transcorp Plc (2.4 per cent); NAHCO Plc (2.2 per cent); Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc (2.0 per cent); Dangote Flour Mills Plc (1.6 per cent); Zenith Bank Plc and Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc (0.8 per cent apiece).
On the positive side, Unity Bank Plc led the price gainers with 8.9 per cent, trailed by Honeywell Flour Mills Plc which chalked up 6.0 per cent. Law Union & Rock Insurance Plc garnered 5.7 per cent, while Regency Alliance Insurance Plc and N.E.M Insurance Plc appreciated by 5.0 per cent, 3.8 per cent respectively.
Meanwhile, activity level was mixed as volume traded declined by 42.7 per cent to 229.3 million shares just as value traded advanced by 11.4 per cent to N2.5 billion. The top traded stocks by volume were FBN Holdings Plc (72.1 million shares), Diamond Bank Plc (29.6 million shares) and Access Bank Plc (22.4 million shares) while FBN Holdings Plc (N541.2 million), Zenith Bank (N497.8 million) and GTBank (N456.5 million) were the top traded stocks by value.