The Nigerian stock market continued on the upswing on Thursday at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) as investors sought to take positions in leading banking stocks.
While the momentum of the bullish rally appeared to be slowing down due to profit-taking transactions, a notable rally within the highly capitalised banking stocks sustained the upswing for the sixth consecutive trading session.
Aggregate market value of all quoted equities rose from N9.086 trillion to close at N9.138 trillion, representing a net capital gain of N52 billion. The benchmark index for the stock market, the All Share Index (ASI), indicated average day-on-day gain of 0.57 per cent to close at 26,559.01 points as against its opening index of 26,407.64 points. The average year-to-date return, though still negative, improved to -7.27 per cent.
The rally was driven by widespread share price appreciation, especially within the banking sector. Banking stocks dominated the top gainers’ list. Seplat Petroleum Development Company led the 21-stock gainers’ list with a gain of N10 to close at N410. Guinness Nigeria followed with a gain of N2 to close at N77.60.
Guaranty Trust Bank rose by N1.09 to close at N25.60. Ecobank Transnational Incorporated added 53 kobo to close at N11.15. Stanbic IBTC Holdings chalked up 51 kobo to close at N15.01. Zenith Bank garnered 23 kobo to close at N14.73 while United Bank for Africa rose by 21 kobo to N4.54.
Total turnover stood at 199.98 million shares valued at N1.50 billion in 3,313 deals, The three most active stocks were International Energy Insurance Company, with 37.84 million shares; United Bank for Africa, 29.63 million shares and FBN Holdings, which recorded a turnover of 24.04 million shares.
“We are of the view that today’s performance was broadly propelledby sustained buy sentiment in banking stocks; albeit, we expect some profit taking in near term trading sessions ahead,” Afrinvest Securities stated.
On the negative side, profit-taking transactions continued in the oil and gas sector. Mobil Oil Nigeria led the 13-stock losers’ list with a loss of N14.95 to close at N284.05. Total Nigeria followed with a loss of N12.77 to close at N277.13. Nigerian Breweries dropped by N1.05 to close at N142. Okomu Oil Palm declined by 39 kobo to close at N40.13. Forte Oil lost 32 kobo to close at N128.78. Oando dropped by 21 kobo to close at N4.29 while Union Bank of Nigeria declined by 11 kobo to close at N4.36 per share.
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