Nigerian equities sank for the second day on the trot on Tuesday, with the benchmark index closing weaker by 0.08 per cent and the size of trade three per cent less, casting doubt on the chances of buoyancy returning to the market any moment soon.

Financial services stocks have been known to be the foremost driver of volume of the 155-stock strong bourse, but investors have been keeping them at arm’s length especially since Monday, with GTCO, Zenith as well as Access – all parts of Nigeria’s biggest banks commonly known by their initials FUGAZ – heading Tuesday’s retreat.

However, the bright side of trade could be found in the market breadth which, closing positive on account of 15 gainers being recorded against 13 losers, means investor sentiment towards trade is broadly improving.

“Following an improvement in sentiment, we expect a positive performance in the next trading session as investors take a position in attractive stocks,” broker Afrinvest said in a note.

The all-share index lost 32.57 points at 38,873.85. Similarly, market capitalisation fell to N20.3 trillion at the end of trade.

Between January and now, the index has been down 3.47 per cent.

TOP FIVE GAINERS

MRS led the flock of gainers, appreciating by 9.75 per cent to close at N15.20. Veritas Kapital added up 9.52 per cent to end trade at N0.23.

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Regal Insurance went up by 6.82 per cent to N0.47. Unity Bank rose to N0.55, notching up 3.77 per cent in the process. Courteville completed the top 5, climbing by 3.23 per cent to N0.32.

TOP FIVE LOSERS

Neimeth declined 7.89 per cent to close at N1.75. Chams shed 4.35 per cent to close at N0.22.

Japaul fell to N0.47, losing 4.08 per cent. Sovereign Trust dipped to N0.24, recording 4 per cent depreciation. Wema Bank closed at N0.76, going down by 3.80 per cent.

TOP FIVE TRADES

Altogether, 184.4 million shares estimated at N2.3 billion were traded in 3,809 deals.

UBA was the most active stock trading 39 million shares worth N297.6 million in 233 deals. GTCO’s 19 million shares, priced at N517.9 million exchanged hands in 253 transactions.

Zenith traded 14.2 million shares estimated at N326.7 million in 506 transactions. UCAP traded 12.9 million shares valued at N114.2 million in 221 deals. Access had 10.1 million shares valued at N90.2 million traded in 230 deals.

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