Renewed appetite in some highly capitalised stocks buoyed transactions on the equity sector of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), reversing yesterday’s bearish sentiments, as the All -Share Index (ASI) appreciated 0.32 per cent.
Specifically, at the close of trading, ASI was up by 97.92 absolute points, representing an increase of 0.32 per cent to close at 30,802.90 points. Similarly, the market capitalisation increased by N35 billion, closing at N11.251 trillion.
The improved performance was occasioned by gains recorded in some bellwethers, amongst which were; Seplat Petroleum Development Company, Dangote Cement, Conoil, Berger Paints, and Dangote Sugar.
Analysts at APT Securities and Funds Limited said: “the equities market continues to swing between the two poles. Thus, investors are advised to tread with caution as the bourse has a chance of closing either way, but with more chances of closing towards the North Pole week on week (WoW).”
However, market breadth closed negative, recorded 17 gainers against 22 losers. NEM Insurance, and Unity Bank recorded the highest price gain of 10 per cent each to close at N2.53, and 88 kobo, respectively, while Berger Paints followed with a gain of 9.79 per cent to close at N7.85 per share.
Diamond Bank appreciated by 9.60 per cent to close at N1.37, while Jaiz Bank was up y 8.70 per cent to close at 50 kobo per share.
On the other hand, Diagnostic & Clinical Services led the losers’ chart by 7.69 per cent to close at 24 kobo per share. Union Bank followed with a decline of 6.67 per cent to close at N5.60, while Cement Company of Northern Nigeria (CCNN) lost 6.56 per cent to close at N17.80, per share.
UAC Nigeria (UACN) shed 6.54 per cent to close at N10, while Access Bank depreciated by 6.33 per cent to close at N7.40 per share.
Total volume of trade increased by 171.58 per cent to 545.98 million units, valued at N4.09 billion and exchanged in 3,224 deals. Transactions in the shares of Diagnostic & Clinical Services topped the activity chart with 274.17 million shares valued at N65.81 million. Access Bank followed with 61.87 million shares worth N473.31 million, while Zenith Bank traded 37.29 million shares valued at N838.48 million.
Lafarge Africa traded 24.45 million shares valued at N288.32 million, while Guaranty Trust Bank transacted 20.81 million shares worth N711.83 million
By Helen Oji
The Guardian Newspaper December 21st, 2018