Nigerian stocks came under further pressure on Wednesday as the all-share index dropped 0.09 per cent, a retreat that means the bourse has shed 2.7 per cent January to date.

The market has been bearish lately and is yet to report a gain this week by reason of investors’ risk-off disposition to trade even regardless of a string of fairly strong earnings performance of many companies at half year.

Profit-taking in the shares of Honeywell Flour, Nigerian Breweries, UACN and Dangote Sugar, all of them consumer goods stocks set Wednesday’s slide in motion.

Liquidity crisis, which has become an albatross to foreign capital inflow since last year when hordes of international investors exited the Nigerian stock market with investment worth N1.7 trillion because of uncertainties in accessing forex, is also complicating recovery.

Market breadth, a pointer of investor sentiment towards trade, was negative as 18 losers were recorded compared to 8 gainers.

The benchmark index shrank 25.43 basis points to 39,184.18, while market capitalisation fell to N20.4 trillion.

TOP FIVE GAINERS

AIICO led gainers, appreciating by 4.04 per cent to close at N1.03. Custodian added 3.15 per cent to end trade at N6.55.

Chams went up 6.25 per cent to N2.80. Fidelity rose to N2.41, notching up 2.55 per cent. AIICO completed the top 5, climbing by 0.95 per cent to N2.13.

TOP FIVE LOSERS

FTN Cocoa declined by 8.77 per cent to close at N0.52. Morison fell to N1.92, losing 5.42 per cent.

UPDC dipped to N1.77, recording 4.84 per cent depreciation. Jaiz shed 4.76 per cent to close at N0.60. Wema closed at N0.82, going down by 4.65 per cent.

TOP 5 TRADES

In all, 169.3 million shares estimated at N1.4 billion were traded in 3,449 deals.

Transcorp was the most active stock with 28.5 million units of its shares worth N25.8 million traded in 124 deals. Zenith transacted 16.6 million shares priced at N39.8 million in 327 trades.

Honeywell traded 13.2 million shares estimated at N54.9 million in 298 transactions. UCAP traded 12.8 million shares valued at N91.4 million in 99 deals. Mutual Benefits had 8.3 million shares valued at N2.5 million traded in 20 deals.

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