The bulls upstaged the bears on the equity sector of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) yesterday, following price gains recorded by most blue chips, as the All-share index increased by 0.4 per cent.
Specifically, at the close of transactions yesterday, the All-share index (ASI) gained 121.13 absolute points, representing a growth of 0.4 per cent to close at 32,962.82 points.
Similarly, Market capitalisation rose by N44 billion to close at N12.034 trillion.
The improved performance was buoyed by gains recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, amongst which are; Seplat Petroleum Development Company, Unilever Nigeria, Zenith Bank, Stanbic IBTC, and Custodian and Allied Insurance.
Analysts at APT Securities and Funds Limited, said the market is open to another round of bargain hunting in the next trading session on positive sentiment. However, the market may sway either way to close the week.
However, analysts at Afrinvest Limited, noted that “although we maintain a bearish outlook for the market in the long term, we do not rule out the possibility of a sustained bullish run amidst third quarter earnings releases.”
Market breadth closed the same, with 17 gainers and losers. Unilever Nigeria recorded the highest price gain of 8.20 per cent to close at N47.50 per share. Custodian and Allied Insurance followed with a gain of 7.84 per cent to close at N5.50, while Union Diagnostic & Clinical Services gained by 7.14 per cent to close at 30 kobo per share.
Seplat Petroleum Development Company went up by 4.86 per cent to close at N644.90, while Zenith Bank appreciated by 4.80 per cent to close at N24 per share.
On the other hand, Lafarge Africa, and Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals led the losers’ chart by 10 per cent each, to close at N18.90 and 54 kobo, respectively, while McNichols followed with a loss of 8.47 per cent to close at 54 kobo per share.
Honeywell Flour dipped by 7.26 per cent to close at N1.15, while Dangote Flour shed 6.25 per cent to close at N7.50, per share.
Activity level, however, strengthened as volume and value traded rose by 21.29 per cent and 239.85 per cent respectively, to 257.92 million units and N4.95 billion.
Transactions in the shares of Guaranty Trust Bank topped the activity chart with 74.19 million shares worth N2.71 billion. Diamond Bank followed with account of 42.96 million shares valued at N51.57 million; while UAC of Nigeria traded 16.72 million shares at N169.73 million.
FCMB Group traded 15.5 million shares valued at N24.13 million, while Sterling Bank sold 13.74 million shares worth N20.03 million.
By Helen Oji
The Guardian Newspaper October 23rd, 2018