By Kayode Tokede
The key market indicators of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Thursday posted first gain for the week, appreciating by 1.40 per cent as investors renewed interest in Dangote Cement Plc and MTN Nigeria Plc.
The equities market capitalisation rose by N177 billion or 1.40 per cent to close at N12.787 trillion compared with N12.610 trillion.
Also, the All-Share Index improved by 339.24 basis points or 1.40 per cent to close at 24,512.77 basis points against 24,173.53 basis points achieved on Wednesday.
Its Year-to-Date (YTD) returns currently stands at -8.68per cent.
The upturn was impacted by gains recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, amongst which are: Dangote Cement, MTN Nigeria, Custodian Investment, Africa Prudential and FBN Holdings.
Sector performance ended on a negative note as Consumer Goods (-0.23 per cent), Banking (-0.08 per cent) and Oil & Gas (-0.04 per cent) all printed negative, while the Industrial sector (+3.26%) closed positively.
Dangote Cement dominated the price movement in percentage terms, gaining 10 per cent, to close at N134.20 per share.
Jaiz Bank followed with a gain of 7.41 per cent to close at 58k, while Custodian Investment appreciated by 3.09 per cent to close at N5, per share.
Africa Prudential rose by 2.74 per cent to close at N4.12, while Sterling Bank appreciated by 1.69 per cent to close at N1.20 per share.
On the other hand, Neimeth led the losers’ chart in percentage terms, losing 6.67 per cent to close at N1.40 per share.
Mutual Benefits Assurance came second with a loss of 4.76 per cent to close at 20k, while BUA Cement lost 3.50 per cent to close at N40 per share.
Dangote Sugar shed 2.50 per cent to close at N11.70, while Caverton depreciated by 2.17 per cent to close at N1.80 per share.
Transactions in the shares of FBNH topped the activity chart with 42.68 million shares valued at N211.27 million.
Custodian Investment followed with an exchange of 20.04 million shares worth N100.18 million, while Zenith Bank traded 17.94 million shares valued at N278.97 million.
Guaranty Trust Bank traded 11.67 million shares worth N251.19 million, while United Bank for Africa transacted 8.44 million shares valued at N51.51 million.
In all, the total volume traded decreased by 59.2 per cent with an exchange of 164.29 million shares, worth N2.13 billion, and traded in 2,986 deals.
This was in contrast with a total of 402.64 million shares valued at N4.55 billion transacted in 3,252 deals on Wednesday.
Analysts at Afrinvest Limited expected the local bourse to close the week positive on the back of sustained bargain hunting.
Also, analysts at Investmentone research said, “ The equities market closed up today on the back of the gain recorded in DANGCEM. While we believe the recent risk-off sentiments could continue to weigh in on equities market, we opine that this may be one of the best periods to start picking some of the quality names with a medium to long term investment horizon.”