The NSE All-Share Index slid by 0.7 per cent to 42,299.56 from 42,579.48 basis points while year-to-date return contracted to 10.6 per cent.
The share prices of Dangote Cement, Zenith Bank and International Breweries fell respectively by 0.7 per cent, 2.5 per cent and 4.8 per cent.
Accordingly, investors lost N100.5bn in value as the equities market capitalisation declined to N15.18tn from N15.28tn.
However, there was increased activity in the market as volume traded rose by 14 per cent to 438.651 million units on the back of trade in Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (45.1 million), Diamond Bank Plc (41.6 million), and FBN Holdings Plc (38.2 million) while value traded advanced by 60.8 per cent to N8.8bn largely due to trade in Nestle Nigeria Plc (N2.9bn), Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (N1.9bn) and Nigerian Breweries Plc (N0.9bn).
Performance across sectors was mixed as three of five NSE indices declined. The banking index depreciated the most, down by 1.3 per cent due to respective losses of 2.5 per cent, 0.8 per cent and five per cent in Zenith Bank, GTBank and Union Bank of Nigeria Plc.
The industrial and consumer goods indices followed, falling by 1.1 per cent and 0.2 per cent, respectively as investors sold off positions in Dangote Cement, Lafarge Africa Plc, International Breweries and Honeywell Flour Mill Plc.
However, the oil/gas index improved, up by 0.9 per cent following a rally in Total Nigeria Plc and Conoil Plc, which appreciated respectively by 6.9 per cent and 9.8 per cent. In the same vein, buying interest in NEM Insurance Nigeria Plc and Linkage Assurance Plc drove the insurance index higher by 0.3 per cent.
Market breadth further weakened following appreciation in 18 stocks against 37 laggards. Unity Bank Plc, Conoil Plc and May & Baker Nigeria Plc led the gainers’ chart, appreciating respectively by 9.8 per cent, 9.8 per cent and 8.9 per cent while Africa Prudential Plc, Unic Diversified Holdings Plc and Multiverse Plc led the losers, sliding respectively by 9.4 per cent, 7.4 per cent and 6.1 per cent.
“Although sentiment has remained soft, we believe this is largely due to investors exiting penny stocks in order to position in bellwether counters that have historically paid dividend. Hence, we do not expect the current downtrend in the market to be sustained,” analysts at Afrinvest Securities said in a post.
Also, FSDH Group analysts said, “The 2017 earnings release is expected to improve market activity and investors’ sentiment in coming sessions.”