Nigerian equities sustained their third consecutive upswing on Thursday as investors appeared to be waging higher stakes on blue chips. Highly influential large-cap stocks led the rally with substantial gains by sectoral leaders pushing the sectoral indices to higher levels.
The benchmark indices at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) showed average day-on-day gain of 0.72 per cent, equivalent to net capital gain of N70 billion on Thursday. Increased orders on large-cap stocks also nudged turnover with investors increasing their stakes by 162 per cent to N9.16 billion for 353.14 million shares in 4,034 deals.
Aggregate market value of all quoted equities on the NSE rose from its opening value of N9.645 trillion to close at N9.715 trillion. The All Share Index (ASI)-which tracks prices at the Exchange, also trended upward from 27,900.44 points to close at 28,101.63 points.
The average-year-to-date return strengthened to 4.57 per cent.
Nearly all sectoral indices closed on the upside. The NSE Banking Index rose by 3.2 per cent. The NSE Oil & Gas Index appreciated by 1.3 per cent. The NSE Industrial Goods Index rose slightly by 0.4 per cent while the NSE Insurance Index inched up by 0.2 per cent. However, the NSE Consumer Goods Index slipped by 0.6 per cent.
There were 22 gainers against 15 losers. Nestle Nigeria, the highest-priced company at the stock market, led the gainers with a gain of N9.95 to close at N835. Total Nigeria rose by N5 to close at N270. Seplat Petroleum Development Company followed with a gain of N4.20 to close at N350. Guaranty Trust Bank gathered 90 kobo to close at N31.60. Zenith Bank rose by 87 kobo to close at N17.97. Oando added 82 kobo to close at N9.37. United Bank for Africa chalked up 51 kobo to close at N7.01 while Lafarge Africa rose by 50 kobo to close at N48.
The three most active stocks were Zenith Bank, with 63.20 million shares; FBN Holdings, 35.74 million shares and Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp), with 30.52 million shares.
On the other hand, Mobil Oil Nigeria led the losers with a loss of N16.60 to close at N315.40. Nigerian Breweries followed with a loss of N2.76 to close at N145.24. Cement Company of Northern Nigeria dropped by 22 kobo to close at N4.78. Nascon Allied Industries declined by 11 kobo to N8.39 while Access Bank lost 10 kobo to close at N7.28.
“Bearing in mind that market performance has been largely positive this week save for Monday, we do not rule out the possibility of some “end of the week” profit taking in tomorrow (Friday)’s trading session,” analysts at Afrinvest Securities stated.
Analysts at SCM Capital Markets said they expected a mixed market mood on Friday trading session, although, the mood is tilted towards a positive close.
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