Stock market records biggest gain in two months

the nation’s stock market on Wednesday saw its biggest daily gain in over two months as investors gained N120.7bn at the end of trading on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

The market capitalisation of equities listed on the NSE increased from N13.186tn the previous day to N13.307bn.

The All Share Index advanced by 109 basis points to 27,352.94bps following major price appreciation in MTN Nigeria Communications Plc, Nestle Nigeria Plc and Ecobank Transnational Incorporated.

Consequently, the year-to-date performance improved to -13 per cent.

Activity level increased as volume and value traded advanced by 73.6 per cent and 39.5 per cent, respectively to 363.973 million units and N4.516bn.

The most active stocks by volume were United Bank for Africa Plc (64.7 million units), Access Bank Plc (58.1 million units) and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (44 million units) while GTB (N1.2bn), Zenith Bank Plc (N608.1m) and MTN (N475.7m) led by value.

There was sustained bullish sector performance as almost all indices closed positively.

The oil and gas index declined the most, down by 0.74 per cent on the back of sell-offs witnessed in Forte Oil Plc.

The industrial goods index depreciated by 0.08 per cent. This was due to major price depreciation in Lafarge Africa Plc.

On the flip side, the consumer goods index emerged the major gainer, up by 3.46 per cent due to buying interests in Nestle and Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc.

The insurance index appreciated by 1.85 per cent on the back of gains recorded in AXA Mansard Insurance Plc and Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc.

Similarly, the AFI-ICT inched higher by 1.5 per cent, following price appreciation in MTN.

Major gains in Ecobank, Zenith Bank and Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc pushed the banking index higher by 0.39 per cent.

Investor sentiment weakened as the market breadth (advance/decline ratio) declined to 1.4x from the 2.7x recorded on Tuesday as 23 stocks advanced relative to 16 laggards.

The top performing stocks were Honeywell Flour Mills Plc, Ecobank, AXA Mansard, Union Diagnostic and Clinical Services Plc and Jaiz Bank Plc as their share prices appreciated by 9.68 per cent, 9.60 per cent, 9.41 per cent, 9.09 per cent and 8.82 per cent, respectively.

Forte Oil, Okomu Oil Palm Plc, Livestock Feeds Plc, Wapic Insurance Plc and Access Bank led the losers table as they saw their respective share prices decline by 10 per cent, 9.18 per cent, 8.89 per cent, 5.56 per cent and 4.62 per cent.

Analysts at Afrinvest Securities Limited said they expected the bearish run in the market to continue, though opportunities for bargain hunting existed.
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