Nigerian equities rose to their highest level over the past one month on Wednesday as continuing bargain-hunting for value stocks drove the market to its 10th consecutive positive closing.
Aggregate market value of all quoted equities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) rose from the opening value of N11.524 trillion to close at N11.551 trillion, representing a gain of N27 billion. The All Share Index (ASI)-the value-based common index that tracks share prices at the Exchange, rallied by 0.23 per cent from the index-on-board of 33,436.61 points to close at 33,514.93 points.
With sustained rally over the past 10 trading sessions, the average year-to-date return at the Nigerian equities market closed Wednesday higher at 24.71 per cent. The rally on Wednesday was boosted by bargain-hunting in the fast moving consumer goods, banking and oil and gas sectors.
But the market showed pronounced profit-taking trend too, with equal number of advancers and decliners as investors sought to monetise accrued capital gains on several large-cap stocks. Sectoral indices underscored the interplay of bargain-hunting and profit-taking. The NSE Oil & Gas Index rose by 1.4 per cent while the NSE Banking Index appreciated by 1.1 per cent. On the other hand, the NSE Insurance Index and NSE Industrial Goods Index dropped by 0.5 per cent each while the NSE Consumer Goods Index was unchanged.
There were 24 advancers and decliners each. Seplat Petroleum Development Company led the advancers with a gain of N9.98 to close at N485. Guinness Nigeria rose by N3.10 to close at N66.10. Okomu Oil Palm added N1.50 to close at N64.50. PZ Cussons Nigeria appreciated by N1.05 to close at N22.05.
Stanbic IBTC Holdings rose by 99 kobo to close at N32.49 per share. Nigerian Breweries-the second most capitalised quoted company, rose by 89 kobo to close at N160. Cadbury Nigeria and Zenith Bank added 45 kobo each to close at N12.45 and N21.98. Ecobank Transnational Incorporated rose by 44 kobo to N14.72 while Oando appreciated by 34 kobo to close at N7.15 per share.
Total turnover stood at 331.43 million shares valued at N3.24 billion in 4,055 deals. Banking stocks dominated the activities chart. Zenith Bank was the most active stock with 33.11 million shares valued at N727.82 million. United Bank for Africa (UBA) followed with 28.24 million shares worth N251.71 million while FBN Holdingsranked third with a turnover of 26.55 million shares valued at N160.75 million.
On the downside, Nestle Nigeria led the decliners with a loss of N16.50 to close at N903.50. Presco declined by N3.22 to close at N61.32. Dangote Cement lost N2 to close at N208. MRS Oil and Gas dropped by N1.86 to close at N35.44. Flour Mills of Nigeria declined by N1.10 to close at N25.15 per share. Total Nigeria declined by 50 kobo to close at N259.50. Union Bank of Nigeria dropped by 20 kobo to close at N5.47. Dangote Flour Mills dipped by 14 kobo to close at N4.85 while Nigerian Aviation Handling Company lost 12 kobo to close at N2.73 per share.
Market analysts remained positive on the outlook for equities as investors await the half-year results of most quoted companies. Under the rules at the Exchange, quoted companies are expected to submit their quarterly and half-year results on or before Monday July 31, 2017.
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