The benchmark index at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE)-the All Share Index (ASI), on Thursday crossed another threshold to 37,000 points as investors netted N175 billion on the back of continuing scramble for large and mid-cap stocks.
The ASI-a value-based common index that tracks share prices at the Exchange, rose from its opening index of 36,740.77 points to close Thursday at 37,245.17 points. This represented average day-on-day gain of 1.37 per cent.
With 38 advancers to 17 decliners, aggregate market value of all quoted companies at the Exchange also rose from its opening value of N12.663 trillion to close at N12.837 trillion, representing a net capital gain of N175 billion.
The average year-to-date return for Nigerian equities trended upward to 38.59 per cent, implying a double-digit inflation-adjusted return for most investors.
Sectoral indices showed widespread positive sentiment, although there appeared to be increasing profit-taking as the rally entered its 16th consecutive positive session. The NSE Consumer Goods Index led with above average gain of 3.8 per cent. The NSE Insurance Index rose by 2.2 per cent while the NSE Banking Index appreciated by 1.7 per cent. However, the NSE Oil & Gas Index declined by 1.0 per cent while the NSE Industrial Goods Index dropped by 0.5 per cent.
Nigeria’s highest-priced stock-Nestle Nigeria led the advancers with a gain of N45.50 to close at N955.50. Nigerian Breweries-the second most capitalised company followed with a gain of N7.87 to close at N173.77. Okomu Oil Palm rose by N3.54 to close at N74.41. Conoil gathered N3.36 to close at N36.40. Beta Glass appreciated by N2.87 to close at N60.34. Seplat Petroleum Development Company added N2.80 to close at N488. Presco rose by N2.50 to close at N71 per share. Total Nigeria garnered N2 to close at N270. International Breweries rose by N1.50 to close at N31.50 while Guaranty Trust Bank chalked up N1.42 to close at N41 per share.
Total turnover stood at 542.8 million shares valued at N8.01 billion in 5,939 deals. United Bank for Africa was the most active stock with 117.27 million shares valued at N1.19 billion. Zenith Bank followed with 63.04 million shares worth N1.61 billion while Diamond Bank ranked third with 52.16 million shares valued at N66.64 million.
“As half-year 2017 earnings scorecards continue to trickle in, we expect performance in the equities market to remain upbeat as investors take position in fundamentally sound stocks,” Afrinvest Securities stated on the outlook for equities.
On the negative side, Cadbury Nigeria led the decliners with a loss of N1.20 to close at N11.20. Lafarge Africa dropped by N1.01 to close at N60. Oando dipped by 40 kobo to close at N8. UAC of Nigeria lost 30 kobo to close at N16.70. Access Bank dipped by 25 kobo to close at N10.30. UACN Property Development Company dropped by 16 kobo to close at N2.77. PZ Cussons Nigeria and Guinness Nigeria slipped by 10 kobo each to close at N23 and N66 respectively while Transnational Corporation of Nigeria and Morison Industries dropped by 7.0 kobo each to close at N1.48 and N1.36 respectively.
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