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NSE LIVE! Investors scramble for banking stocks as equities sustain rally 

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NSE LIVE! Stock Exchange suffers glitch as equities lose N32b

In from Success Allantee …

Banking stocks were the toasts of investors yesterday as Nigerian equities rallied additional capital gains of N186 billion in the five-hour trading session at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

Banking stocks dominated the activities chart and featured prominently on the gainers’ list as investors continued bargain-hunting for low-priced equities. Most banking stocks are trading around their lowest prices.

Turnover at the NSE jumped above average to 938.21 million shares valued at N7.49 billion in 6.070 deals. Transactions on Access Bank contributed 488.95 million shares worth N2.59 billion in 350 deals. Zenith Bank was the second most active stock with a turnover of 105.62 million shares valued at N1.62 billion in 452 deals. United Bank for Africa (UBA) placed third with a turnover of 98.6 million shares valued at N333.7 million in 605 deals.

The transactions on the banking stocks underlined the increase buy orders for the stocks. Access Bank’s share price rose by 3.11 per cent while Zenith Bank’s share price recorded a gain of 0.33 per cent.

The overall market situation remained positive. Aggregate market value of all quoted companies on the NSE rose from its opening value of N10.208 trillion to N10.394 trillion, representing an increase of N186 billion. The All Share Index (ASI), the benchmark index that tracks prices of all quoted equities, also trended further upward to 30,225.34 points, 1.82 per cent above its opening index of 29,684.84 points. The upswing further moderated the negative average year-to-date return to -12.79 per cent.

With 39 gainers to 20 losers, the positive outlook was driven by widespread gains as well as gains by some highly capitalised companies. Nigerian Breweries, stock market’s second most capitalised company, led the rally with a gain of N5.10 to close at N126.59. Lafarge Africa followed with a gain of N3.02 to close at N103. PZ Cussons Nigeria rose by N2.46 to close at N26.61. Okomu Oil Palm added N2.21 to close at N23.81. Stanbic IBTC Holdings rallied N2.01 to close at N21.65. Unilever Nigeria added N2 to close at N42. Dangote Cement gathered N1.93 to close at N174.40. Guaranty Trust Bank, the third most capitalised stock and highest-priced banking stock, rose by N1.58 to close at N24.50. International Breweries chalked up 75 kobo to close at N17.75 while Champion Breweries rose by 43 kobo to close at N4.68 per share.

Market pundits said recent streak of gains could trigger a correction in the market’s cycles. “Notwithstanding the bullish rally, we do not over rule the possibility of profit-taking at tomorrow`s trading session as smart investors seize the opportunity to harvest gains,” SCM Capital stated.

Afrinvest Securities urged investors to look at the long-term horizon in order to beat the speculative sentiments driving the downtrend.

“We suspect that the sustained gaining streak in the bourse is broadly due to bargain hunting in value stocks and renewed investor confidence in the economy due to anticipated clarity in the policy and stability in the foreign exchange reserves. However, given the short investors’ holding period observed of recent, we imagine that the rally may be short-lived as some investors may likely take profit in the sessions ahead,” Afrinvest Securities stated.

Meanwhile, Forte Oil led the losers’ list with a loss of N3.50 to close at N248.50. Conoil followed with a loss of N3.23 to close at N30.05. Cadbury Nigeria dropped by N1.42 to close at N27.14. Total Nigeria lost 99 kobo to close at N151 while Flour Mills of Nigeria dropped by 93 kobo to close at N23.22 per share.

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