By Kayode Tokede
Investors on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) gained N181 billion on Wednesday as equities market sentiment remains positive.
Specifically, the market capitalisation which opened at N21.753 trillion inched higher by N181 billion or 0.83 per cent to close at N21.934 trillion.
Also, the All-Share Index increased by 346.79 basis points or 0.83 per cent to close at 41,930.73 basis points from 41,583.94 basis points achieved on Tuesday.
The market gain was driven by price appreciation in large and medium capitalised stocks amongst which are; Airtel Africa, MTN Nigeria Communications, Lafarge Africa, Julius Berger and Fidson Healthcare.
Market breadth was positive with 35 gainers in contrast with 21 losers.
Consolidated Hallmark Insurance and Guinea Insurance drove the gainers’ chart in percentage terms, gaining 10 per cent each to close at 44k and 22k per share, respectively. Fidson Healthcare followed with 9.90 per cent to close at N5.55 per share.
Champion Breweries improved by 9.79 per cent to close at N2.58, while Lasaco Assurance appreciated by 9.76 per cent to close at 45k per share.
On the other hand, Skyway Aviation Handling Company led the losers’ chart in percentage terms, losing 10 per cent to close at N2.88 per share.
Cornerstone Insurance followed with 9.72 per cent to close at 65k, while Caverton Offshore Support Group shed 9.41 per cent to close at N1.83 per share.
Universal Insurance dipped 8.70 per cent to close at 21k, while FTN Cocoa Processors lost 8.33 per cent to close at 55k per share.
Transactions in the shares of Transcorp dominated the activity chart with 57.24 million shares valued at N61.02 million. Japaul Gold and Ventures followed with 52.04 million shares worth N40.28 million, while Zenith Bank traded 47.16 million shares valued at N1.24 billion.
FBN Holdings traded 38.08 million shares worth N284.69 million, while United Bank for Africa accounted for 32.54 million shares worth N291.73 million.
In all, the total volume of shares traded rose by 16.18 per cent with a turnover of 543.59 million shares valued at N7.32 billion exchanged in 6,770 deals.
This was in contrast with a total of 467.89 million shares worth N5.57 billion exchanged in 5,990 deals on Tuesday.
Analysts at Cordros Capital Ltd expressed optimism that the equities would maintain price rally due to retention of interest rate at 11.5 per cent by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).
“With the MPC maintaining the ‘lower-for-longer’ theme for rates, we expect a positive reaction in the equities market.
“Accordingly, we expect risk-averse investors to recalibrate their portfolio toward fundamentally sound stocks with attractive dividend yields.
“With the eagerly anticipated MPC meeting out of the way, we now expect investors’ attention to be focused on bond auction results as they seek clues on the direction of yields in the forex market,” they said.