Nigerian equities sustained their rally on Thursday with a net capital gain of N112 billion as investors appeared to be rounding off the quarter with portfolio realignment in favour of large-cap stocks.
Ahead of the third quarter results of many large-cap stocks, bargain-hunting for value stocks and blue chips thickened on Thursday, helping to override equally broad profit-taking trading.
Benchmark indices at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) indicated average gain of 0.93 per cent, equivalent to net capital gain of N112 billion. This nudged the average year-to-date return at the equities market to 31.83 per cent.
Aggregate market value of all quoted equities at the Exchange rose from its opening value of N12.101 trillion to close at N12.213 trillion. The All Share Index (ASI)-the common value-based index that tracks share prices, also increased from opening index of 35,103.40 points to close at 35,429.31 points.
Most sectoral indices also trended upward with the NSEC Banking Index leading with above-average gain of 1.4 per cent. The NSE Industrial Index improved by 1.0 per cent while the NSE Consumer Goods Index appreciated by 0.7 per cent. On the downside, the NSE Insurance Index dropped by 0.4 per cent while the NSE Oil and Gas Index dipped by 0.1 per cent.
While there were 20 advancers to 23 decliners, the gains recorded by large-cap stocks coloured the overall market position. Nestle Nigeria-the highest-priced stock at the Exchange, led the advancers with a gain of N14.94 to close at N1,225. Dangote Cement –the most capitalised company at the Exchange, followed with a gain of N2.99 to close at N212.99. International Breweries and PZ Cussons Nigeria rose by N1 each to close at N37 and N26 respectively. Guaranty Trust Bank-the most capitalised banking stock, appreciated by 80 kobo to close at N40 while Zenith Bank chalked up 79 kobo to close at N23.30 per share.
On the negative side, MRS Oil and Gas led the decliners with a loss of N1.68 to close at N31.98. Nascon Allied Industries followed with a drop of N1.08 to close at N12.02. Unilever Nigeria dropped by 68 kobo to close at N43.61. Cement Company of Northern Nigeria lost 44 kobo to close at N8.36 while Ecobank Transnational Incorporated declined by 30 kobo to close at N17.70 per share.
The momentum of activities also improved with a turnover of 346.21 million shares valued at N3.99 billion in 3,066 deals. Skye Bank was the most active stock with 95.91 million shares valued at N50.77 million. AXA Mansard Insurance followed with 42.89 million shares worth N85.78 million while Transnational Corporation of Nigeria recorded a turnover of 20.37 million shares valued at N25.65 million.
“As third quarter 2017 draws to a close, we believe the recent gains in the market may be driven by portfolio rebalancing by fund managers. Nonetheless, we expect a negative close to the week,” Afrinvest Securities stated.
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