Stock market rises slightly as 22 firms gain

The nation’s stock market witnessed a rebound on Thursday as investors gained N14.83bn.

Twenty-two stocks recorded price appreciation at the end of trading while the share prices of 13 dipped.

The market, which took a break on Wednesday from its gaining streak by shedding N18bn, saw the capitalisation of equities listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange increase from N12.087tn to N12.102tn.

The All Share Index increased by 0.12 per cent from 32,413.92 basis points on Wednesday to 32,453.69bps on Thursday, improving the year-to-date return to 3.4 per cent.

However, activity level weakened as 423.379 million shares worth N3.729bn exchanged hands in 4,417 deals, representing a 10.1 per cent and 12.1 per cent decline in volume and value traded, respectively.

The top traded stocks by volume were Diamond Bank Plc (97.6 million units), Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (41.1 million units) and Zenith Bank Plc (40.3 million units), while the top traded stocks by value were Zenith Bank (N997.1m), Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (N992.6m) and Access Bank Plc (N263.7m).

Performance across sectors was largely bullish as three of five indices closed in the positive territory.

The insurance index was the biggest gainer, recording a 1.2 per cent increase.

The industrial and consumer goods indices gained 0.7 per cent and 0.3 per cent respectively due to buying interest in Dangote Cement Plc, Lafarge Africa Plc, Unilever Nigeria Plc and P Z Cussons Nigeria Plc.

On the flip side, the oil and gas and banking indices declined by 0.8 per cent and 0.5 per cent respectively on the back of profit-taking in Oando Plc, Eterna Plc, Zenith Bank and Access Bank.

Investors’ sentiment strengthened to 1.7x from the 0.7x recorded on Wednesday.

The top five gainers were Associated Bus Company Plc, Livestock Feeds Plc, Unity Bank Plc, Unilever and Wema Bank Plc, which saw their share prices gain 10 per cent, 10 per cent, 9.62 per cent, 6.82 per cent and 6.74 per cent, respectively.

The top five losers were Union Bank Nigeria Plc, Oando, Dangote Flour Mills Plc, Union Diagnostic and Clinical Services Plc and Eterna, whose respective share prices declined by 8.03 per cent, 5.17 per cent, 4.57 per cent, 3.23 per cent and 3.09 per cent.

Analysts at Afrinvest Securities Limited said, “Despite today’s positive performance, we maintain a conservative outlook for Friday’s trading session. We expect profit-taking activities in fundamentally good stocks as the market closes for the week.”
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