Equity trading on the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) today closed negative on sustained profit taking that dragged the benchmark index of the All Share Index (ASI) lower for the third consecutive trading session by 0.5 percent to settle at 36,333.80 points.

Year-to-date loss consequently worsened to 5.0 percent while market capitalization dropped N53.1 billion to settle at N13.3 trillion.

At the close of trading for the day, losses recorded in the share price of Seplat (-8.5%), Guaranty Trust Bank (-2.1%) and Zenith Bank (-0.8%) were the major drags to market performance.

However, activity level strengthened as volume and value traded advanced 36.1 percent and 10.4 percent to 248.0 million units and N2.2 billion respectively.

The top traded stocks by volume were Wema Bank Plc who traded 53.5 million shares, Guaranty Trust Bank (23.4m units) and United Bank for Africa (UBA) (22.2m units) while top traded stocks by value were Guaranty (N925.0bn), Dangote Cement (N280.0bn) and UBA (N214.0bn).

The performance across the five major sub-sectors closed bearish as four of five indices closed in the red.

The Oil & Gas Index led losers, shedding 4.7 percent majorly due to profit taking in Seplat (-8.5%) while sell offs in Guaranty (-2.1%), Zenith (-0.8%) and WAPCO (-2.0%) led to depreciation in the banking (-1.1%) and industrial goods (-0.9%) indices which were up Monday.

Similarly, the Insurance Index lost 0.8 percent as investors exited positions in Mansard (-4.8%).

The Consumer Goods Index was the day’s sole gainer, up 0.6 percent following bargain hunting in Nigerian Breweries (+2.1%), which lifted the index.

In all, investors bought and sold 248.46 million shares valued at N2.245 billion exchanged in 3,932 deals.