Gains by highcap stocks lift market index

 The Nigerian equities market extended bullish on three consecutive trading sessions, as more highly-capitalised (highcap) stocks appreciated at price, resulting in a further rise in the All-Share Index (ASI) by 0.43 per cent.

At the close of transactions yesterday, the ASI grew by 167.56 absolute points, representing a growth of 0.43 per cent to close at 39,015.58 points while market capitalisation gained N88 billion to close at N20.419 trillion.

The improved performance was driven by price appreciation in large and medium capitalised stocks amongst which are: MTN Nigeria Communications, Zenith Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, PZ Cussons Nigeria and Ardova Plc.

Analysts at Afrinvest Limited said: “Despite the positive performance in the last two trading sessions, we maintain our bearish outlook given the expected rise in marginal rates at the bond auction tomorrow.”

On the price movement chart, market sentiment was positive as 24 stocks appreciated while 13 others constituted the losers’ chart. Honeywell Flour Mill and PZ Cussons Nigeria recorded the highest price gain of 10 per cent each, to close at N1.30 kobo and N4.50 kobo while Sovereign Trust Insurance followed with a gain of eight per cent to close at 27 kobo.

NEM Insurance rose by 7.5 per cent to close at N2.15 kobo, while John Holt appreciated by 5.88 per cent to close at 54 kobo. On the other hand, Royal Exchange led the losers’ chart by 10 per cent, to close at 36 kobo. Portland Paints & Products Nigeria followed with a decline of 9.90 per cent to close at N2.64, while FTN Cocoa Processors declined by 8.89 per cent to close at 41 kobo.

Chams Plc shed 4.55 per cent to close at 21 kobo, while Livestock Feeds depreciated by 2.7 per cent to close at N1.80 kobo. However, the total volume of trades decreased by 33.35 per cent to 339.018 million units, valued at N2.703 billion, and exchanged in 4,203 deals.

Transactions in the shares of Fidelity Bank topped the activity chart with 125.257 million shares valued at N265.641 million. Zenith Bank followed with 26.178 million shares worth N574.956 million, while UAC of Nigeria traded 25.824 million shares valued at N280.336 million.

Guaranty Trust Bank traded 22.762 million shares valued at N683.072 million, while FBN Holdings transacted 21.124 million shares worth N161.578 million.

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