After losing N67 billion on Tuesday, Nigerian equities staged a marginal recovery on Wednesday as bargain-hunting transactions in high-cap stocks lifted the market to a gain of N7 billion.
Benchmark indices at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) showed a marginal gain of 0.02 per cent, equivalent to net capital gain of N7 billion. The gain nudged the average year-to-date return for Nigerian equities to 36.22.
The All Share Index (ASI)-the value-based index that tracks share prices at the Exchange, rose to 36,608.76 points as against its opening index of 36,600.07 points. Aggregate market value of all quoted equities also inched up from its opening value of N122.738 trillion to close at N12.745 trillion.
With 17 advancers to 23 decliners, the marginal gain was driven by gains recorded by large-cap stocks such as Nestle Nigeria, Unilever Nigeria, Zenith Bank, Dangote Sugar Refinery and United Bank for Africa (UBA).
Most sectoral indices closed positive. The NSE Consumer Goods Index rose by 0.3 per cent. The NSE Banking Index and NSE Insurance Index rallied by 0.2 per cent each while the NSE Oil & Gas Index and NSE Industrial Goods Index closed flat.
Unilever Nigeria led the advancers, in percentage terms, with a gain of 5.69 per cent to close at N39.95 per share. Linkage Assurance followed with a gain of 4.92 per cent to close at 64 kobo. Wapic Insurance appreciated by four per cent to close at 52 kobo per share. Neimeth International rose by 3.39 per cent to close at 61 kobo while Learn Africa gained 3.19 per cent to close at 97 kobo.
On the negative side, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria led the decliners with a drop of 9.70 per cent to close at N22.80 per share. Flour Mills of Nigeria followed with a loss of 4.98 per cent to close at N31.50. Livestock Feeds shed 4.55 per cent to close at 84 kobo per share. Julius Berger Nigeria declined by 4.53 per cent to close at N28 while UAC of Nigeria declined by 3.82 per cent to close at N16.35 per share.
Total turnover rose by 28.4 per cent to 331.24 million shares valued at N5.56 billion in 3,231 deals. Union Bank of Nigeria topped the activity chart with 70.74 million shares valued at N480.18 million. Union Bank had seen three negotiated off-market deals struck for 69.36 million shares of Union bank of Nigeria at N6.80 per share. Custodian and Allied Insurance followed with 55.18 million shares worth N207.02 million while Tantalizer traded 43 million shares valued at N21.5 million.
“Although market performance was positive, investor sentiment has softened for the third consecutive day due to an absence of fundamental sentiment drivers. Notwithstanding, we expect market performance to stay positive in the near term as investors position ahead of anticipated year-end rally,” Afrinvest Securities stated.
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