The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) sustained a rising profile at the end of transactions yesterday, following improved performance on the shares of some banks, causing the All-share index to increase further by 0.8 per cent.
In summary, the All Share Index (ASI) gained 224.65 absolute points, representing a growth of 0.76 per cent to close at 29,970.86 points. Similarly, the market capitalisation gained N84 billion to close at N11.257 trillion.
The bullish performance can be attributed to gains by some bellwethers including Nestle Nigeria, Dangote Cement, Nigerian Breweries, Access Bank, and Dangote Flour Mills.
Analysts attributed the sustained upward trend to positive earnings of Nigeria’s three biggest lenders, Access Bank, Zenith Bank, and Guaranty Trust Bank that stimulated investors’ sentiment.
Afrinvest Limited however said: “The relatively weak investor sentiment portends that the last trading session of the week may be dominated by profit-taking activities especially in bellwethers that had recorded gains in previous sessions.”
But Vetiva Capital Limited believes that: “As earning results continue to trickle in, we expect to see more pronounced reactions to the results, as seen for Access (PAT growth of 88% y/y) than we saw during the FY’18 results season. Following the release of positive Guaranty and Zenith Bank results, we expect to see investors respond positively leading the ASI to another positive close. However, we don’t rule out the possibility of profit-taking.”
Market breadth slightly closed negative, with 16 gainers versus 17 losers.
Access Bank recorded the highest price gain of 9.92 per cent to close at N6.65 per share. Chams Insurance gained 9.09 per cent to close at 36 kobo, while First Aluminium appreciated by 8.57 per cent to close at 38 kobo, per share.
AG Leventis & Company rose 7.69 per cent to close at 28 kobo, while Nestle Nigeria appreciated by 5.31 per cent to close at N1,580 per share.
On the other hand, Trans-Nationwide Express led the losers’ chart with 9.76 per cent, to close at 74 kobo per share. UACN Property Development Company followed with 9.64 per cent to close at N1.50, while Associated Bus Company shed 8.33 per cent to close at 33 kobo, per share.
Learn Africa shed 8.22 per cent each to close at N1.34, while Wema Bank fell 5.56 per cent to close at 68 kobo per share.
Despite the ASI gain, total volume traded declined by 32.8 per cent to 216.01 million shares worth N3.23 billion, and traded in 4,025 deals.
Transactions in the shares of Access Bank topped the activity chart with 39.24 million shares valued at N259 million. United Bank for Africa (UBA) followed with 24.19 million shares worth N156.94 million.
Lasaco Assurance traded 20.84 million shares valued at N6.25 million.
Zenith Bank traded 16.31 million shares valued at N342.54 million, while FCMB Groups transacted 10.89 million shares worth N20.6 million.
By Helen Oji
The Guardian Newspaper April 18th, 2019