The Nigerian equities market reversed its positive momentum Thursday as more investors rush to take profit following days of consistent gains.
The market has been bullish in the past several days as bargain hunters took positions based on analysts' prediction that quoted companies will report strong 2012 earnings.
At the close of business yesterday however, most market indicators closed in red led by the twin market gauge.
Numbers released by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) showed that the Exchange's benchmark All-Share Index or ASI depreciated by 241 points or 0.72 per cent to close at 33, 219.20 from 33, 460.14 points the previous day.
Similarly, the market capitalisation, which reflect the total amount of investment in the market declined by N77 billion or 0.71 per cent to close at N10.628 trillion from N10.705 trillion the previous day.
Also, the NSE-30 Index, which mirrors the 30 most capitalised equities on the Exchange, went down by 12 points or 0.74 per cent to close at 1,595.75 points from 1,607.64 points the previous day.
Meanwhile, the banking sector of the Financial Service Sector remained the most active in terms of the number of shares traded. It led the equities sector with a turnover of 335.33 million shares valued at N2.02 billion made in 2,956 deals.
The number of shares sold in the banking sector was largely driven by the activity in the shares of United Bank for Africa Plc, Unity Bank Plc, Access Bank Plc, and First City Monument Bank Plc.
Trading on the shares of the four banks accounted for 227.3 million ordinary shares or 67.7 per cent of the subsector's turnover.
The Insurance sector of the Financial Service Sector boosted by the activity in the shares of Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc, International Energy Insurance and Cornerstone Insurance Plc trailed on the activity chart with a turnover of 68.8 million shares worth N58.1million executed in 445 deals.
Wema Bank Plc led on the gainers table with 12 kobo gain to close at N1.34 per share while also Dangote Sugar Plc recorded a 12 kobo gain to close at N1.36 per cent.