Nigerian equities hit their highest point in the past 11 months on Wednesday as sustained rally pushed the benchmark index to another level and left investors with net capital appreciation of N203 billion.
For the sixth consecutive trading session, equities showed improved momentum with nearly four advancers for every decliner.
The All Share Index (ASI)-the benchmark index that tracks share prices at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), rose by 1.51 per cent to close at 39,075.30 points as against its opening index of 38,494.43 points. Aggregate market value of all quoted equities rose from its opening value of N13.406 trillion to close at N13.609 trillion. With this, average year-to-date return increased to 45.40 per cent.
With 40 advancers to 13 decliners, the pricing trend showed widespread bargain-hunting across the sectors. The NSE Banking Index rose by 3.0 per cent. The NSE Consumer Goods Index appreciated by 1.5 per cent. The NSE Insurance Index and NSE Industrial Goods Index inched up by 0.2 per cent while the NSE Oil & Gas Index closed flat.
Okomu Oil Palm led the rally with a gain of N2.78 to close at N70. Nigerian Breweries followed with a gain of N2.40 to close at N140.40. Flour Mills of Nigeria added N1.60 to close at N34.70. Unilever Nigeria rose by N1.45 to close at N44.40. Nascon Allied Industries chalked up N1.38 to close at N17.12 while Dangote Sugar Refinery appreciated by N1.23 to close at N19.93.
On the downside, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria led the decliners with a drop of N1.14 to close at N21.66. Julius Berger Nigeria followed with a loss of N1 to close at N27. PZ Cussons Nigeria lost 89 kobo to close at N22.01. Red Star Express and United Capital dipped by 13 kobo each to close at N4.91 and N3.47 respectively while Studio Press dropped by 10 kobo to close at N1.99 per share.
Total turnover stood at 703.7 million shares valued at N7.3 billion. Custodian and Allied was the most active stock with a turnover of 131.82 million shares valued at N494.40 million. United Bank for Africa followed with a turnover of 92.46 million shares worth N986.68 million while FBN Holdings placed third with 86.45 million shares worth N732.07 million.
With the sustained rally in recent day, most analysts said they expected profit-taking transactions to moderate the price rally in the next trading session.
“The market may remain in the positive territory in the coming trading sessions, however, there may be profit taking in some stocks,” FSDH Securities stated.
Analysts at Afrinvest Securities Limited noted that “following the spate of gains recorded through the week, we expect to see some profit taking by investors in trading sessions ahead”.
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