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ECONOMY: Equities sustain rally with N37b gains



ECONOMY! Equities sustain rally with N37b gains

The overall market position at the Nigerian stock market again closed on the positive on Tuesday as large-cap stocks overshadowed underlying widespread selling sentiments.

For the second consecutive trading session, the twin indicators at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) appreciated, riding on the back of gains by a handful of highly capitalised stocks.

The All Share Index (ASI), the benchmark index for the Nigerian stock market, recorded average gain of 0.39 per cent to close at 28,034.32 points as against its opening index of 27,925.00 points. Aggregate market value of all quoted equities also rose by N37 billion to close at N9.629 trillion as against its opening value of N9.592 trillion.

With 21 losers to 13 gainers, the positive market position was driven mainly by gains recorded by highly capitalised stocks such as Nestle Nigeria, Zenith Bank, Access Bank and Seplat Petroleum Development Company.

Most sectoral indices closed on the upside, reflecting the dominant influence of large-cap stocks in their sectors. The NSE Oil & Gas Index rose by 1.2 per cent. The NSE Banking Index rallied by 1.0 per cent. The NSE Consumer Goods Index recorded a gain of 0.6 per cent. However, the NSE Industrial Goods Index declined by 0.7 per cent while the NSE Insurance Index slipped by 0.3 per cent.

Read also: NSE LIVE! High-cap stocks lift equities to N31b gain

Nestle Nigeria, stock market’s highest priced stock, led the gainers with a gain of N25 to close at N825. Seplat Petroleum Development Company followed with a gain of N17.50 to close at N367.51. Presco rose by N1.30 to close at N41.50. Zenith Bank gathered 49 kobo to close at N15.04. Dangote Sugar refinery added 15 kobo to close at N6.50. Vitafoam Nigeria rose by 13 kobo to N2.78 while Access Bank chalked up 12 kobo to close at N5.56 per share.

On the negative side, Guinness Nigeria continued its slide with a loss of N3.83 to close at N76. Lafarge Africa followed with a loss of 91 kobo to close at N48.09. Flour Mills of Nigeria dropped by 30 kobo to N20.70. UAC of Nigeria lost 25 kobo to close at N20.80 while Champion Breweries and FBN Holdings dropped by 10 kobo each to close at N2.58 and N3 respectively.

Total turnover was above average with the exchange of 234.18 million shares valued at N2.72 billion in 3,335 deals. United Bank for Africa was the most active stock with a turnover of 83.06 million shares valued at N346.24 million. Zenith Bank followed with 18.95 million shares worth N282.46 million while Guaranty Trust Bank placed third with 12.72 million shares valued at N303.44 million.

“Despite the sustained positive trend in market performance, we expect sentiment to remain soft in the interim, as investors continue to trade short-term in expectation of more earnings releases,” Afrinvest Securities, a Lagos-based trader at the NSE, stated.

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