Nigerian equities continued on the upswing on Thursday as investors continued to show strong appetite for equities across several sectors. Benchmark indices at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) indicated a day-on-day return of 0.77 per cent on Thursday, equivalent to net capital gain of N87 billion within the five-hour trading session.
With three advancers to every decliner, the market showed broad bullish rally. The sustained rally nudged the average year-to-date return at the equities market to 22.56 per cent.
Aggregate market value of all quoted equities at the NSE rose from its opening value of N11.300 trillion to close at N11.387 trillion. The All Share Index (ASI)-the value-based common index that tracks prices at the Exchange, spiraled up to 32,937.98 points as against its opening index of 32,686.72 points.
Most sectoral indices also closed on the upside, underlining the spread of the bargain-hunting that drove equities to positive close in 11 out of 12 past trading sessions. The NSE Oil & Gas Index rose by 4.9 per cent. The NSE Banking Index appreciated by 3.0 per cent while NSE Consumer Goods Index rallied 1.3 per cent. On the negative side, the NSE Industrial Goods Index declined by 1.0 per cent while the NSE Insurance Index slipped by 0.2 per cent.
There were 45 advancers to 15 decliners on Thursday. Oil and gas stocks dominated the top gainers’ list as relative peace in the oil-rich Niger Delta region and global crude oil stability enhance the outlook for the sector. Seplat Petroleum Development Company remained atop the gainers’ chart for the second consecutive trading sessionwith a gain of N39.13 to close at N425 per share.
Seplat is riding on the back of the lifting of Force Majeure on Forcados export terminal, which is expected to boost production volumes, forward earnings and cash flow of Seplat. Forte Oil followed with a gain of N5.41 to close at N58.33. Total Nigeria trailed with a gain of N4.49 to close at N279.50. Okomu Oil Palm rose by N2.88 to close at N60.63. Presco added N2.83 to close at a new high of N59.53.International Breweries rallied N2.71 to close at N29.24. UAC of Nigeria gathered N1.70 to close at N18.53. Nigerian Breweries chalked up N1.49 to close at N156.50. Cadbury Nigeria rose by N1.31 to close at N14.22 per share while PZ Cussons Nigeria rose by 99 kobo to close at N20.79 per share.
On the negative side, Dangote Cement led the decliners with a loss of N3.97 to close at N205. Julius Berger Nigeria followed with a loss of N1.86 to close at N38. Guaranty Trust Bank dropped by 15 kobo to close at N33.55. Lafarge Africa lost 11 kobo to close at N52.64 per share. Golden Breweries and Jaiz Bank dropped by 4.0 kobo each to close at 81 kobo each while Custodian and Allied and Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals slipped by 3.0 kobo each to close at N3.86 and 71 kobo respectively.
Investors staked a total of N4.84 billion on 528.69 million shares in 5,603 deals. Banking stocks remained the most active stocks. Access Bank topped the activities’ chart with a turnover of 81.82 million shares valued at N832.43 million. FBN Holdings followed with 71.42 million shares worth N471.73 million while United Bank for Africa placed third with 67.13 million shares worth N586.54 million.
Most analysts expected the market to continue on the upbeat, although considerable gains will continue to trigger intermittent profit-taking.
“We still maintain the market may be set for a “year round bull run” following the improved flexibility in the administration of foreign exchange and anticipated strong second quarter earnings season,”analysts at Afrinvest Securities stated.
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