The free fall of equities persisted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Tuesday with the market capitalisation losing N143 billion in about six hours of trading.
Specifically, the market capitalisation which opened at N12.877 trillion dipped N143 billion or 1.11 per cent to close at N12.734 trillion.
Also, the All-Share Index lost 297.10 points or 1.11 per cent to close at 26,384.21 compared with 26,681.31 achieved on Monday due to price depreciation posted by 23 stocks.
The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, amongst which are; Nestle, MTN Nigeria, Dangote Cement, Arbico Plc and Union Bank of Nigeria.
Capital market analysts attributed the persistent downward trend to usual Santa Claus activities.
They noted that some investors were selling off to attend to their needs ahead of the Yuletide celebration.
Similarly, market breadth closed negative with only eight gainers against 23 losers.
DAAR Communications led the losers’ chart in percentage terms with a loss of 10 per cent to close at 36k per share.
Arbico followed with a decline of 9.95 per cent to close at N3.89 per share.
Cornerstone Insurance and Fidson Healthcare declined by 8.82 per cent each to close at 62k and N3.10 per share respectively.
Courteville Business Solutions dropped by eight per cent to close at 23k per share.
Conversely, Royal Exchange led the gainers’ chart in percentage terms with a growth of 7.41 per cent to close at 29k per share.
FCMB Group followed with a gain 3.95 per cent to close at N1.84, while Ekocorp appreciated by 3.75 per cent to close at N4.15 per share.
United Capital went up by 2.29 per cent to close at N2.23, while GlaxoSmithKline appreciated by 1.72 per cent to close at N5.80 per share.
However, the volume of shares traded rose marginally with an exchange of 196.29 million shares worth N3.55 billion traded in 3,153 deals.
This was in contrast with a total of 192.68 million shares valued at N3.55 billion transacted in 3,594 deals on Monday.
Transactions in the shares of Guaranty Trust Bank led the activity chart with 49.22 million shares worth N1.43 billion.
Access Bank followed with 21 million shares valued at N192.91 million, while Transcorp traded 14.15 million shares worth N13.82 million.
Zenith Bank sold 11.23 million shares valued at N208.38 million, while Wema Bank transacted 10.67 million shares worth N7.04 million.
In the meantime, World Trade Organisation (WTO) members agreed on Tuesday to renew a 20-year moratorium on placing tariffs on digital trade for six months, allaying fears that people would have to pay duties on e-books and software for the first time.
“Members agree to maintain the current practice of not imposing customs duties on electronic transmissions until the 12th Ministerial Conference,” the General Council decision showed, referring to a WTO meeting in Kazakhstan in June.