Nigerian equities built on the modest rally that started on Wednesday as investors reacted to third quarter results of large-cap companies.
The twin indices at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) indicated average gain of 0.43 per cent, equivalent to a gain of N40 billion.
With the continuing inflow of third quarter reports, investors scrambled to take larger positions in stocks with steady and improving operational reports. Aggregate market value of all quotedequities rose from its opening value of N9.315 trillion to close at N9.355 trillion.
The All Share Index (ASI), the benchmark index that tracks prices at the stock market, also improved from 27,120.39 points to close at 27,236.78 points.
With 15 gainers to 18 losers, the rally was largely sustained by gains recorded by highly capitalised stocks such as Total Nigeria, Unilever Nigeria and Dangote Cement, all three that had recorded largely impressive results. The rally moderated the negative average year to date return to -4.91 per cent.
Sectoral indices also reflected the influence of the large-cap stocks on their sectors. The NSE Industrial Goods Index, which includes Dangote Cement, rose by 3.5 per cent. The NSE Consumer Goods Index also appreciated by 0.4 per cent. The NSE Banking Index inched up by 0.07 per cent. On the other hand, the NSE Oil & Gas Index declined by 0.5 per cent while the NSE Insurance Index slipped by 0.1 per cent.
Turnover remained around average with the exchange of 155.59 million shares valued at N1.76 billion in 2,648 deals. The most active stock was FBN Holdings with 30.83 million shares valued at N92.49 million.
Access Bank followed with 19.7 million shares worth N111.63 million while Transnational Corporation of Nigeria placed third with 13.97 million shares worth N13.97 million.
“Today’s performance can be attributed to investors’ reactions to recently released corporate scorecards as well as bargain hunting. However, despite the improvement in benchmark index, sentiment remains weak as seen in the market breadth. Hence, we expect the market to close the week in the red,” Afrinvest Securities stated.
Total Nigeria, which released an impressive third quarter results on Wednesday, led the rally on Thursday with a gain of N29.72 to close at N319.72. Lafarge Africa followed with a gain of N4.11 to close at N48.62. Unilever Nigeria rose by N1.99 to close at N50. Cadbury Nigeria rallied N1.12 to close at N13. Okomu Oil added 99 kobo to close at N41 while Dangote Cement chalked up 83 kobo to close at N175 per share.
On the negative side, Seplat Petroleum Development Company led the losers with a loss of N15 to close at N375. Forte Oil followed with a loss of N6.05 to close at N117.45. Flour Mills of Nigeria dropped by 19 kobo to N19.31. UACN Property Development Company lost 17 kobo to close at N3.24 while Eterna declined by 14 kobo to close at N2.81 per share.
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