By Kayode Tokede
Trading activities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) sustained positive mood on Wednesday for the eighth successive session, with the market capitalisation crossing the N20 trillion mark.
The sustained rally was as a result of buying interests in some highly capitalised equities such as Airtel Africa Plc, BUA Cement Plc and Nigerian Breweries Plc.
Specifically, the market capitalisation rose by N476 billion or 2.40 per cent to close at N20.281 trillion from N19.805 trillion achieved on Tuesday.
Also, the All-Share Index which opened at 37,892.61 basis points inched higher by 911.13 basis points or 2.40 per cent to close at 38,803.74 basis points.
Accordingly, month-to-date and year-to-date gain increased to 10.7 per cent and 44.6 per cent, respectively.
Sector performances were positive on Wednesday with the Industrial (+3.10 per cent), Consumer Goods (+0.40 per cent) and Banking (+0.18 per cent) sectors all closing positively, while the Oil & Gas sector closed flat.
Market breadth closed positive with 26 gainers in contrast with seven losers.
Associated Bus Company and Japaul Gold and Ventures dominated the gainers’ chart in percentage terms, gaining 10 per cent each to close at 33k and 44k per share, respectively.
Airtel Africa followed with 9.99 per cent to close at N851.80 per share.
Eterna garnered 9.98 per cent to close at N4.96, while BOC Gases appreciated by 9.85 per cent to close at N8.70 per share.
On the other hand, FCMB Group led the losers’ chart in percentage terms, losing 3.97 per cent to close at N2.90 per share.
PZ Cussons followed with a loss of 3.64 per cent to close at N5.30, while Lasaco Assurance shed 3.13 per cent to close at 31k per share.
AXA Mansard shed three per cent to close at 97k, while May and Baker Nigeria depreciated by 0.79 per cent to close at N3.75 per share.
Transactions in the shares of Access Bank topped the activity chart with an exchange of 1.04 billion shares valued at N8.39 billion.
Veritas Kapital Assurance followed with 121.16 million shares worth N24.23 million, while Flour Mills traded 51.19 million shares valued at N1.36 million.
BUA Cement sold 50.66 million shares worth N2.79 billion, while Zenith Bank transacted 43.18 million shares valued at N1.06 billion.
In all, the total volume of shares traded increased by 238.6 per cent with a total of 1.49 billion shares worth N18.75 billion traded in 4,316 deals.
This was in contrast with a turnover of 442.22 million shares valued at N10.29 billion shares achieved in 4,948 deals on Tuesday.
According to analysts at Investment One research, “The equities market closed up today due to the gains recorded in most sectors and Airtel Africa plc (+9.99per cent).
“Going forward, we expect investor’s sentiments to be swayed by the search for real positive returns amidst a low interest-rate environment.
“Nonetheless, we reiterate that this may be a great period to pick up some quality names with a medium to long-term investment horizon.”