The Nigerian stock market opened the week, yesterday on a slight decline of 0.04 per cent.

The All Share Index (ASI) shed 17.80 absolute points, representing a growth of 0.04 per cent to close at 41,454.30 points. In turn, investors lost N6 billion in value as market capitalisation increased to N14.976 trillion.

Yesterday’s performance was majorly due to the negative sentiment in Seplat, Forte Oil, Unilever Nigeria, Wapco and Guaranty Trust Bank.

Analysts at United Capital said, “As the earnings season comes to a close, we expect more last-ditch earnings declarations and expectations surrounding the much anticipated Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting to impact investors’ sentiments this week. Going by momentum indicators, the market inched further into the oversold region last week, presenting bargain hunting opportunities in the short term.”

However, market breadth closed positive, recording 34 gainers against 17 losers. Custodian and Allied Insurance and Glaxosmith led the gainers table by 10 per cent each to close at N4.51 and N28.05 per share, respectively, while Multiverse Mining and Exploration followed with a gain of 9.52 per cent to close at 21 kobo per share. Fidson Healthcare went up by 9.49 per cent to close at N6 and Unity Kapital Assurance rose by 9.09 per cent to close at 24 kobo per share.

On the other hand, Forte Oil led the laggards’ table by 9.09 per cent to close at N40 per share. Royal Exchange trailed with a loss of 6.06 per cent to close at 31 kobo, while Unilever Nigeria declined by 4.98 per cent to close at N52.45 per share.

Diamond Bank dipped by 4.65 per cent to close at N2.05, while FTN Cocoa went down by 4.55 per cent, to close at 21 kobo per share.

Also, total volume traded declined by 32.17 per cent to 379.93 million shares, valued at N5.13 billion, and exchanged in 4,913 deals. Transactions in the shares of Access Bank topped the activity chart with 77.91 million shares valued at N885.12 million. Zenith Bank traded 58.42 million shares worth N1.78 billion and UBA transacted 43.95 million shares valued at N525.01 billion.

Transcorp followed with 22.93 million shares worth N44.79 million, while Japaul Oil traded 18.1 million shares valued at N12.82 million.