Although price gains outweighed losses, transactions on the equity sector of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) was upbeat yesterday, occasioned by bargain-hunting in some high capital stocks, as market capitalisation appreciated by N45 billion.
The All-Share Index (ASI) grew by 86.97 absolute points or 0.21 per cent increase to close at 41,088.96 points. Also, the overall market capitalisation value gained N45 billion to close at N21.494 trillion.
The market gain was driven by price appreciation in large and medium value stocks including Airtel Africa, Dangote Cement, MRS Oil Nigeria, Julius Berger, and Lafarge Africa.
Analysts at Vetiva Dealing & Brokerage said: “The Nigerian equity market returned to the positive territory due largely to the upward movement in major large cap stocks such as DANGCEM and AIRTELAFRI.
“However, given the bearish sectoral performances coupled with the negative market breadth recorded today, (yesterday), the possibility of the index returning to a negative close tomorrow cannot be overruled.”
Similarly, analysts at United Capital Plc said: “Bargain-hunting from market participants, stemming from the past week’s sell-offs, and the outcome of the MPC meeting will drive market activities.”
Sentiment, as measured by market breadth, was negative, as 30 stocks lost, relative to 19 gainers. Academy Press recorded the highest price gain of 10 per cent to close at 44 kobo per share. May and Baker Nigeria followed with 9.86 per cent gain to close at N4.01, while MRS Oil Nigeria rose 9.82 per cent to close at N12.30 kobo, per share.
Champion Breweries advanced 9.74 per cent to close at N2.14, and university Press rose 9.60 per cent to close at N1.37, per share. On the other hand, C&I Leasing and Royal Exchange led the losers’ chart by 10 per cent each, to close at N5.13 and 36 kobo, respectively, while Ardova Plc followed with 9.78 per cent fall to close at N18.45 kobo, per share.
Japaul Gold and Ventures shed 9.47 per cent to close at 86 kobo, while Soverign Trust Insurance lost 9.09 per cent to close at 30 kobo, per share.
MEANWHILE, the total volume traded declined by 43.7 per cent to 333.097 million units valued at N2.640 billion, exchanged in 5,640 deals. Transactions in the shares of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp) topped the activity chart with 48.998 million shares valued at N53.307 million.
AXA Mansard Insurance followed with 28.025 million shares worth N38.295 million, while Fidelity Bank traded 26.527 million shares valued at N72.597 million.
United Bank for Africa (UBA) traded 16.672 million shares at N145.847 million, and Zenith Bank transacted 15.871 million shares worth N418.970 million.