Nigerian equities staged a modest recovery on Wednesday as bargain-hunters returned to the market to take advantage of the recent depreciation in share prices.
The modest rally on Wednesday was led by large-cap stocks, which had been the largest decliners in the previous trading sessions.
The benchmark indices indicated average gain of 0.49 per cent on Wednesday at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), equivalent to a net capital gain of N43 billion. There were 15 gainers against 13 losers with leading consumer goods companies and banks headlining the rally.
Aggregate market value of all quoted equities on the NSE increased from N8.722 trillion to close at N8.765 trillion. The All Share Index (ASI)-the common value-based index that tracks prices at the Exchange, also improved from 25,207.07 points to close at 25,331.77 points. With this, the negative average year-to-date return moderated to -5.74 per cent.
Sectoral indices showed widespread positive sentiments, although the upside was driven mainly by price appreciation recorded by sectoral leaders. The NSE Banking Index rose by 0.8 per cent. The NSE Consumer Goods Index also rose by 0.8 per cent. The NSE Industrial Goods Index inched up by 0.01 per cent while the NSE Oil and Gas Index closed flat. However, the NSE Insurance Index slipped by 0.4 per cent.
The positive market situation was driven largely by gains recorded by large-cap stocks including Nestle Nigeria, Guaranty Trust Bank, Zenith Bank, Stanbic IBTC Holdings and FBN Holdings.
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Nestle Nigeria, the highest-priced stock, led the gainers with a gain of N21.93 to close at N750. PZ Cussons Nigeria followed with a gain of 64 kobo to close at N14.64. Guaranty Trust Bank added 33 kobo to close at N24.83. FBN Holdings rose by 26 kobo to close at N3.62. Stanbic IBTC Holdings gathered 11 kobo to close at N19.01 while Zenith Bank chalked up 10 kobo to close at N14.60 per share.
On the negative side, Okomu Oil Palm led the losers with a drop of N2.63 to close at N49.88. UAC of Nigeria followed with a loss of 19 kobo to close at N14.60. Cadbury Nigeria declined by 16 kobo to close at N9.30. Honeywell Flour Mills and United Capital dropped by 10 kobo each to close at 98 kobo and N2.80 respectively while Dangote Flour Mills and Dangote Sugar Refinery lost 4.0 kobo each to close at N4.36 and N6.01 respectively.
Total turnover stood at 322.29 million shares valued at N1.53 billion in 2,907 deals. Diamond Bank was the most active stock with 57.05 million shares valued at N48.31 million. Zenith Bank followed with a turnover of 33.58 million shares worth N487.38 million while Transnational Corporation of Nigeria ranked third with a turnover of 28.38 million shares worth N25.27 million.
Market analysts attributed the positive market situation on Wednesday to bargain-hunting, referring to the tendency for investors to regain appetite for value stocks that had suffered price depreciation in recent period.
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