Nigeria’s highest-priced stock, Nestle Nigeria hit a new high at N1, 200 per share on Wednesday after leading a rally that saw Nigerian equities’ benchmark index crossing the 38, 0000 points.
Nestle Nigeria had traded at a low of N570 per share in the past 12 months. This indicates a gain of 110.5 per cent between the food and beverage giant’s lowest and current highest price.
Nestle Nigeria recorded the highest gain of N49.07 to close at N1, 200. The gains by Nestle Nigeria and other fast moving consumer goods companies and banks helped to sustain the rally at the stock market, in spite of underlying selling pressure due to profit-taking sales.
The benchmark index for Nigerian equities, the All Share Index (ASI), appreciated by 0.38 per cent to cross another level to 38,144.02 per cent as against its opening index of 37,999.56 points. Aggregate market value of all quoted equities at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) rose from N13.097 trillion to close at N13.147 trillion, representing net capital gain of N50 billion.
With the sustained rally, the average year-to-date return for Nigerian equities now stands at 41.93 per cent.
Most sectoral indices closed positive with the NSE Consumer Goods Index leading the rally with above average gain of 1.5 per cent. The NSE Insurance Index appreciated by 0.3 per cent. The NSE Banking Index rose by 0.1 per cent while the NSE Oil & Gas Index inched up by 0.01 per cent. However, the NSE Industrial Goods Index closed flat.
There were 21 gainers to 23 losers on Wednesday. Other top gainers included Guinness Nigeria, which rose by N8.12 to close at N87.50. Presco added N1.20 to close at N71.98. PZ Cussons Nigeria rallied by 78 kobo to close at N27. Dangote Flour Mills chalked up 61 kobo to close at N7.
Nascon Allied Industries gathered 49 kobo to close at N13.23. Nigerian Aviation Handling Company rose by 34 kobo to close at N3.75. Guaranty Trust Bank chalked up 33 kobo to close at N40.53. Union Bank of Nigeria appreciated by 26 kobo to close at N5.56 while Access Bank rose by 23 kobo to close at N10.43 per share.
Total turnover stood at 328.65 million shares valued at N6.10 billion in 4,983 deals. Banking stocks dominated the top activities chart. Jaiz Bank was the most active with 48.47 million shares valued at N42.64 million. FCMB Group followed with 47.22 million shares worth N57.56 million while FBN Holdings ranked third with a turnover of 25.64 million shares valued at N157.3 million.
On the negative side, Conoil led the decliners with a loss of N1.72 to close at N32.86. Ecobank Transnational Incorporated followed with a drop of 69 kobo to close at N17.30. Unilever Nigeria dropped by 30 kobo to close at N41. Dangote Sugar Refinery lost 27 kobo to close at N14.25 while Champion Breweries dipped by 26 kobo to close at N2.53 per share.
“The moderation in market breadth suggests that some investors are possibly taking profit on stocks which had appreciated in prior sessions. However, we do not expect a market correction in the short term as general investor sentiment remains strong on the back of improving confidence in CBN’s foreign exchange policy and a strong earnings season,” Afrinvest Securities stated.
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