After three consecutive negative trading sessions, Nigerian equities recorded their first gain of the week on Thursday as bargain-hunting for value stocks halted the week-long decline and added N12 billion to market value of quoted equities.
The All Share Index (ASI), the common index that tracks prices at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), indicated a modest gain of 0.13 per cent to close at 25,936.24 points as against its opening index of 25,903.55 points.
Aggregate market value of all quoted equities also rose from N8.927 trillion to close at N8.939 trillion, representing net capital gain of N12 billion. The modest rally improved the negative average year-to-date return to -3.49 per cent.
Sectoral indices showed widespread buying sentiment as investors sought to lock into stocks that had been depreciated in the previous trading sessions.
The NSE Banking Index rose by 0.9 per cent. The NSE Insurance Index appreciated by 0.6 per cent. The NSE Consumer Goods Index inched up by 0.02 per cent while the NSE Industrial Goods Index closed flat. However, the NSE Oil & Gas Index declined by 1.6 per cent.
Guinness Nigeria led the 20 gainers with a gain of N2.58 to close at N63.53. Mobil Oil Nigeria followed with a gain of 99 kobo to close at N275.99. Stanbic IBTC Holdingss rose by 50 kobo to N17.80. Unilever Nigeria added 27 kobo to close at N34 while Oando rose by 22 kobo to close at N4.78.
Total turnover stood at 354.50 million shares valued at N1.72 billion in 2,760 deals. The three most active stocks were Continental Reinsurance, with 203.41 million shares; Staco, 20 million shares and Zenith Bank, which recorded turnover of 18.67 million shares.
On the downside, Total Nigeria led the losers with a loss of N10 to close at N268. Forte Oil followed with a drop of N6.59 to close at N61.07 while UAC of Nigeria declined by 51 kobo to close at N15.99.
“Today’s market performance was largely attributable to bargain hunters’ interest in banking stocks. We expect market to close positive tomorrow considering the cheap valuation of stocks that had declined in prior trading sessions this week. However, we expect market to close the week lower,” Afrinvest Securities stated.
“While sentiments turned positive at today`s close due to bargain hunting after three consecutive losses, we are of the view that weak sentiments based on the unimpressive results so far released may subdue market mood at week close tomorrow,” SCM Capital stated in a post-trading note.
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