Preparations for Yuletide have continued to take a toll on the equities sector of the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) as investors’ wealth depreciated further by N7 billion.

Specifically, the All-Share Index declined by 13.74 per cent, representing a decrease of 0.03 per cent, to close at 42,230.48 points.

Similarly, the overall market capitalisation value lost N7 billion to close at N22.043 trillion.

The market’s negative performance was driven by price depreciation in large and medium capitalised stocks which are; Julius Berger, MTN Nigeria Communications (MTNN), FBN Holdings (FBNH), Zenith Bank and United Capital.

Analysts at Afrinvest Limited said, “We expect the negative sentiment in the market to be sustained in the absence of any positive catalyst.”

Vetiva Dealings and Brokerage firm said: “So far, activity level has been on a decline as we gradually approach the last trading sessions of the year.

“We still expect a mixed session to close out the week, with slight recovery in the ASI barring any significant price dip in any of the large-cap stocks.”

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However, the market sentiment closed positive as 14 stocks gained relative to 11 decliners. Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN) recorded the highest price gain of 9.78 per cent to close at N5.05, per share.

Royal Exchange followed with a gain of 7.14 per cent to close at 75 kobo, while Mutual Benefits Assurance up by 6.67 per cent to close at 32 kobo, per share.

Eterna appreciated by six per cent to close at N5.30, while Oando rose by 5.26 per cent to close at N4.60, per share. On the other hand, Julius Berger led the losers’ chart by 9.88 per cent to close at N22.35, per share.

UACN Property Development Company (UPDC) followed with a decline of 5.60 per cent to close at N1.18, while Sovereign Trust Insurance lost four per cent to close at 24 kobo, per share.

FBNH declined 2.50 per cent to close at N11.70, while Honeywell Flour Mills shed 1.43 per cent to close at N3.45, per share.

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The total volume traded increased by 5.8 per cent to 211.090 million units, valued at N2.464 billion, and exchanged in 2,815 deals. Transactions in the shares of UAC of Nigeria (UACN) topped the activity chart with 64.952 million shares valued at N617.023 million. Sovereign Trust Insurance followed with 23.311 million shares worth N5.478 million.

Guaranty Trust Bank Holding Company (GTCO) traded 21.141 million shares valued at N549.567 million. Jaiz Bank traded 14.949 million shares valued at N9.572 million, while Unity Bank transacted 7.971 million shares worth N3.775 million.