After three successive negative trading sessions, Nigerian equities regained the uptrend on Thursday as bargain-hunters shifted demand to stocks that had lost considerable values in recent trading sessions. With 18 gainers to 13 losers, significant rally in the oil and gas and manufacturing sectors further boosted the overall market position.
Aggregate market value of all quoted equities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) rose by N16 billion from N9.090 trillion to close at N9.106 trillion. The All Share Index (ASI)-the benchmark index that tracks prices at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) also improved by 0.18 per cent from 26,418.11 points to close at 26,464.82 points. The modest rally nudged the average year-to-date return to -7.60 per cent.
Sectoral indices showed mixed performance. The NSE Oil and Gas Index rose by 2.5 per cent while the NSE Industrial Goods Index inched up by 0.2 per cent. However, the NSE Banking Index and NSE Insurance Index declined by 0.1 per cent each while the NSE Consumer Goods Index slipped by 0.03 per cent.
Oil and gas stocks led the market recovery. Forte Oil recorded the highest gain of N8.75 to close at N94.22. Conoil followed with a gain of N3.65 to close at N39.45. Beta Glass rose by N2.95 to close at N31.83. Guinness Nigeria added N1.23 to close at N88.73 while Cement Company of Northern Nigeria chalked up 21 kobo to close at N4.63.
Total turnover was however below recent average with the exchange of 188.68 million shares valued at N1.39 billion in 3,161 deals. The three most active stocks were Diamond Bank, with 35.45 million shares; Sterling Bank, 20.69 million shares and FBN Holdings, which recorded turnover of 15.54 million shares.
“Today’s performance is unsurprising given the negative trend that persisted since the start of the week. We foresee a similar trend tomorrow (Friday) as portfolio investors begin mop up trades to balance their books for the year,” analysts at Afrinvest Securities stated.
On the negative side, Presco recorded the highest loss of N1.99 to close at N40.01. International Breweries followed with a loss of 66 kobo to close at N17.30 while CAP placed third with a loss of 60 kobo to close at N31.
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