Nigerian equities traded on the tight balance of profit-taking and bargain-hunting on Tuesday but increased demand for the most influential stocks on the market tilted the balance to a net capital gain of N130 billion.
With 22 advancers and decliners each, the market was evenly spread out and was stuttering around negative until investors pushed through increased demand for highly capitalised stocks such as Nestle Nigeria and Dangote Cement. Nestle Nigeria-the highest-priced stock at the stock market, led the advancers with a gain of N20.19 to close at N1, 220.20. Dangote Cement-the most capitalised company at the stock market, placed third on the gainers’ list with a gain of N9.28 to close at N224.90. Two leading oil and gas stocks-Total Nigeria and Forte Oil rose by N11.40 and 50 kobo to close at N239.51 and N50.50 respectively.
The gains by the four large-cap stocks impacted positively on the overall market situation. Main indices at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) showed an average day-on-day increase of 1.03 per cent, equivalent to net capital gain of N130 billion.
The All Share Index (ASI)-the common price index that tracks valuations of stocks at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), improved from its opening index of 36,584.44 points to close at 36,962.48 points. Aggregate market value of all quoted companies also improved from N12.610 trillion to close at N12.740 trillion.The average year-to-date return thus improved to 37.54 per cent.
Sectoral indices underlined the tight market situation. The NSE Industrial Goods Index appreciated by 2.1 per cent while the NSE Consumer Goods Index rose by 0.3 per cent. On the negative side, the NSE Banking Index declined by 1.0 per cent, the Oil & Gas Index dipped by 0.3 per cent while the NSE Insurance Index closed flat.
The market also saw considerable decline in the momentum of activities as both volume and value of activities dropped by 33.7 per cent and 41.4 per cent respectively. Total turnover dropped below average to 244.31 million shares valued at N3.67 billion in 3,829 deals. Banks dominated the activities chart. Guaranty Trust Bank was the most active with 16.48 million shares worth N670.47 million. United Bank for Africa followed with 15.06 million shares worth N141.3 million while Sterling Bank placed third with 13.48 million shares worth N13.54 million.
Oil and gas stocks led the decliners. Mobil Oil Nigeria dropped by N11.25 to close at N213.81. Conoil followed with a drop of N3.30 to close at N30.59. Flour Mills of Nigeria lost N1.15 to close at N29.85. Zenith Bank declined by 95 kobo to close at N23.05. UAC of Nigeria dipped by 80 kobo to close at N15.70 while Guinness Nigeria lost 50 kobo to close at N84.50 per share.
“While the equities market has continued to ride on the positive developments in the economy, the negative performance experienced in previous sessions presents a potential upside for investors to source for bargain. Hence, we envisage a rebound in investors’ sentiment in subsequent trading sessions,” Afrinvest Securities-a Lagos-based dealer at the Exchange, stated.
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