Investors in the Nigerian stock market lost N158bn in March amid persistent bearish sentiments.
The market, which opened the month at 31,721.76 basis points with a market capitalisation of N11.830bn, rose to its highest point on March 5 at 32,173.66bps with a market capitalisation of N11.998tn.
It, however, closed at 31,041.42bps with a market capitalisation of N11.672tn on March 29, the last trading day of the month.
The analysis of the opening market capitalisation figure of N11.830bn and the closing figure of N11.672tn showed that N158bn had been lost by investors in the Nigerian stock market as of end of March.
Judging by the All-Share Index, the market dropped to its lowest point during the month on March 27 at 30,829.45bps, while the lowest point, judging by market capitalisation, was recorded on March 21 at N11.518tn.
During the last week in the month, the total turnover of 2.629 billion shares worth N12.794bn were traded in 15,558 deals by investors on the floor of the Exchange, in contrast to a total of 1.198 billion shares valued at N12.273bn that exchanged hands in the previous week in 18,293 deals.
The financial services industry (measured by volume) led the activity chart with 2.346 billion shares valued at N8.602bn traded in 9,331 deals, thus contributing 89.23 per cent and 67.23 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value, respectively.
The Information and Communications Technology industry followed with 140.531 million shares worth N28.117m in 113 deals.
The third place was occupied by the consumer goods industry with a turnover of 54.152 million shares worth N2.099bn in 2,613 deals.
Trading in the top three equities namely Wema Bank Plc, Chams Plc and Zenith Bank Plc (measured by volume) accounted for 1.948 billion shares worth N3.449bn in 1,642 deals, contributing 74.08 per cent and 26.96 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value, respectively.
The ASI depreciated by 0.31 per cent while market capitalisation appreciated by 0.51 per cent to close the week at 31,041.42bps and N11.672tn, respectively.
The top five gainers for the week were Eterna Plc, Red Star Express Plc, Ikeja Hotel Plc, C & I Leasing Plc and Associated Bus Company Plc, whose share prices gained 10.42 per cent, 10 per cent, 9.94 per cent, 9.90 per cent and 8.16 per cent, respectively.
The top five losers were Fidelity Bank Plc, Dangote Flour Mills Plc, Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc, Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc and Academy Press Plc, which saw their respective share prices shed 13.08 per cent, 12.07 per cent, 9.09 per cent, 8.33 per cent and 8.33 per cent.
In the first quarter of the year, the stock market slumped by N48bn as gains in some trading days reduced major losses.
The market hit its highest point on February 15 at 32,715.20 bps with a market capitalisation of N12.2tn, while the lowest point was recorded on January 9 at 29,336.80bps with a market capitalisation of N10.940tn.