The Nigerian stock market witnessed its biggest rally so far this year on Wednesday as intense bargain-hunting transactions halted the year-running downtrend and topped the market value of quoted equities with a gain of N302 billion.
With 39 gainers to eight losers, it was a complete u-turn for the stock market, which had lost N2.13 trillion and ran 12 consecutive negative trading sessions before the Wednesday’s upturn. Average day-on-day return on Wednesday was 3.91 per cent, equivalent to N302 billion, the highest daily gain by the market so far this year.
The upturn reduced the built-up negative average year-to-date return from -21.60 per cent to -18.53 per cent, underlining not only the distance that the market still needs to travel to attain its opening level for the year but its vigour to attain if it sustains the momentum of the turnaround.
Aggregate market value of all quoted equities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) rose to N8.025 trillion from its opening value of N7.723 trillion. The All Share Index (ASI)-the common value-based index that tracks prices of all quoted equities, also scaled up to another level at 23,335.01 points as against its opening index of 22,456.32 points.
Sectoral analysis showed widespread positive sentiments with investors particularly focusing on banking stocks.
The NSE Banking Index recorded the highest gain of 8.1 per cent. The NSE Industrial Goods Index rose by 4.0 per cent. The NSE Consumer Goods Index also appreciated by 2.9 per cent. The NSE Insurance Index improved by 0.5 per cent. However, the NSE Oil and Gas Index dropped marginally by 0.2 per cent.
Many analysts were still cautious of the market outlook, though several dealers said the market might have bottomed out and could witness sustained but moderate recovery.
“Despite the positive close of the market, we do not believe this will be sustained as macroeconomic fundamentals remain weak. Hence, we maintain that investors keep a long term investment horizon and trade cautiously in the short to medium term,” Afrinvest Securities-a Lagos-based dealer on the NSE, stated.
Nestle Nigeria, Nigeria’s highest-priced stock, turned round to lead the rally with a gain of N33.75 to close at N708.85. Dangote Cement, Nigeria’s most capitalised quoted company, followed with a gain of N5.38 to close at N128.89. Lafarge Africa placed third with a gain of N3.47 to close at N83.47. Guinness Nigeria added N3.03 to close at N96.03 while Nigerian Breweries rose by N2.95 to close at N97.60 per share.
Total turnover was above average at 242.53 million shares valued at N1.58 billion in 3,874 deals. FCMB Holdings was the most traded stock, in terms of volume, with a turnover of 37.29 million shares worth N37.68 million.
On the downside, Seplat Petroleum Development Company led with a loss of N7.98 to close at N151.74. Ashaka Cement followed with a loss of N2.50 to close at N24 while Flour Mills of Nigeria declined by N1.50 to close at N16.35 per share.
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