The Nigerian stock market, which began the month on a positive note, resumed its decline on Tuesday as 26 firms recorded price losses at the end of trading.
The Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index had risen by 0.33 per cent after investors on Monday, the first trading day of the month, after February saw investors record a total loss of N1.37tn.
But the benchmark index, ASI, fell by 0.59 per cent on Tuesday to 39,697.62 basis points from 39,931.63bps on Monday.
The market capitalisation of equities dropped by N120bn to close at N20.77tn on Tuesday from N20.89tn on Monday.
A total of 222.57 million shares valued at N5.39bn were traded in 4,470 deals on Tuesday, compared to 543.99 million shares valued at N1.89bn that were exchanged by investors in 4,673 deals on Monday.
Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc, which led the losers on Tuesday, saw its share price decline by 10 per cent to close at N0.36.
It was followed by Ardova Plc (formerly Forte Oil Plc), which declined by 9.97 per cent to close at N16.25 per share.
Champion Breweries Plc shed 9.69 per cent to close at N2.05 per share; The Initiates Plc lost 9.62 per cent to close at N9.62 per share, while Sterling Bank fell by 8.75 per cent to N1.46 per share.
Eighteen stocks recorded price appreciation at the end of trading on the floor of the NSE on Tuesday, with Academy Press Plc leading the pack.
Academy Press rose by 9.76 per cent to N0.45 per share, while PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc appreciated by 9.38 per share to close at N5.25 per share.
Royal Exchange Plc and Beta Glass Company Nigeria Plc gained eight per cent each to close at N0.27 and N54 per share respectively.
Regency Alliance Insurance Company Plc saw its share price increase by 7.69 per cent to close at N0.28.
Analysts at Cordros Capital Limited noted that the month-to-date and year-to-date losses increased to 0.3 per cent and 1.4 per cent, respectively.
They said, “Zenith Bank was the most traded stock by volume at 48.10 million units, while Nestle was the most traded stock by value at N2.73bn.
“Performance across sectors was broadly negative, as four out of our five coverage indices – consumer goods (-3.9 per cent), oil and gas (-0.9 per cent), industrial goods (-0.4 per cent) and banking (-0.1 per cent) closed in the red. The insurance (+0.2 per cent) index was the lone gainer of the day.”