By Kayode Tokede
The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) equities market extended its positive rally on Thursday, appreciating further by N325 billion, amid increased buying interest.
Specifically, the market capitalisation inched higher by N325 billion or 1.54 per cent to close at N21.418 trillion from N21.093 trillion on Wednesday.
In the same vein, the All-Share Index garnered 622.09 basis points or 1.54 per cent to close at 40,963.14 basis points compared with 40,341.05 basis points on Wednesday.
Sector performances were broadly positive today with the Oil & Gas (+5.15 per cent), Banking (+2.35%), Industrial (+1.68 per cent) and Consumer Goods (+0.73 per cent) sectors all closing in the green.
The uptrend was driven by price appreciation in medium and large capitalised stocks amongst which are; Seplat, Dangote Cement, MTN Nigeria Communications, Ardova and NASCON Allied Industries.
Consequently, the market breadth remained positive with 49 gainers in relative to seven losers.
Champion Breweries led the gainers’ chart in percentage terms, gaining 9.82 per cent to close at N1.23 per share.
NASCON Allied Industries followed with 9.72 per cent to close at N17.50, while Japaul Gold and Ventures rose by 9.45 per cent to close at N1.39 per share.
AXA Mansard Insurance grew by 9.42 per cent to close at N1.51, while Ardova appreciated by 9.25 per cent to close at N21.85 per share.
Conversely, Courteville Business Solutions dominated the losers’ chart in percentage terms, dropping 8.33 per cent to close at 22k per share.
Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals followed with 6.36 per cent to close at N2.06, while Union Diagnostic and Clinical Services shed 3.13 per cent to close at 31k per share.
Jaiz Bank dropped 2.78 per cent to close at 70k, while John Holt lost 1.96 per cent to close at 50k per share.
Also, the total volume of shares transacted improved by 72.9 per cent with an exchange of 809.36 million shares worth N8.91 billion in 6,706 deals.
This was against a total of 468.15 million shares valued at N6.96 billion exchanged in 5,697 deals on Wednesday.
Transactions in the shares of Transcorp topped the activity chart with 136.58 million shares valued at N130.19 million per share.
Mutual Benefits Assurance sold 70.59 million shares worth N27.39 million, while Guaranty Trust Bank traded 68.99 million shares valued at N2.25 billion.
Lafarge Africa traded 61.85 million shares worth N1.42 billion, while FBN Holdings transacted 44.53 million shares valued at N329.47 million.
“The equities market closed up today due to the gains recorded in major sectors.
“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,” analysts at Investment one research explained.