Nigerian equities remained on the upswing yesterday as widespread bargain-hunting for large-cap stocks rallied the market to a net capital gain of N117 billion. For the second consecutive trading session, most transactions at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) were closed at premium, underlining the positive sentiment across several sectors.
The All Share Index (ASI) – the benchmark value index that tracks share prices at the Exchange, recorded a day-on-day average gain of 0.83 per cent to close at 39,167.04 points as against its opening index of 38,844.32 points. Aggregate market value of all quoted equities also rose correspondingly from N14.071 trillion to close at N14.188 trillion, representing net capital gain of N117 billion.
With this, the average year-to-date return improved to 2.42 per cent, built mainly on the back of 2.79 per cent gain recorded so far this month.
Large-cap stocks headlined the rally as investors appeared to show preference for the safety and steady returns of blue chips. The NSE Oil & Gas Index rose by 4.9 per cent. The NSE Insurance Index appreciated by 0.9 per cent. The NSE Industrial Goods Index rose by 0.5 per cent while the NSE Consumer Goods Index posted a gain of 0.4 per cent. However, the NSE Banking Index slipped by 0.04 per cent.
On the downside, Guinness Nigeria led the losers with a loss of N2.75 to close at N97. Nigerian Breweries and Nascon Allied Industries followed with a drop of 90 kobo each to close at N117.10 and N23.10 respectively. Flour Mills of Nigeria lost 70 kobo to close at N32.30. Dangote Sugar Refinery declined by 40 kobo to close at N19.50. Eterna dipped by 28 kobo to close at N5.97 while Access Bank lost 20 kobo to close at N10.65 per share.
Total turnover stood at 341.48 million shares valued at N5.19 billion in 3,769 deals. United Capital led the activities chart with a turnover of 82.66 million shares worth N262.66 million. Dangote Sugar Refinery was the second most active stock with a turnover of 56.89 million shares valued at N1.19 billion while Africa Prudential placed third with a turnover of 49.57 million shares worth N213.16 million.
Most analysts said they expected the market to continue the uptrend, citing many value stocks across major sectors of the market.
“In the near term, we expect market performance to remain upbeat as investors continue to take position in market bellwethers currently trading at attractive entry prices,” Afrinvest Securities stated.
“ We look for extension of gains, as relatively lower prices continue to attract investors, supported by strengthened macroeconomic fundamentals,” Cordros Capital stated.