By Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma
The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) closed trading on Thursday on a positive note, halting eight trading sessions of bearish trend.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that this followed buying sentiments in the banking, insurance and oil & gas sectors.
Specifically, the All-Share Index (ASI) improved by 46.65 points or 0.17 per cent to close at 28,140.41 against 28,093.76 achieved on Wednesday.
In the same vein, the market capitalisation inched N27 billion or 0.19 per cent to close at N14.497 trillion in contrast with N14.470 trillion on Wednesday.
The variation in percentage posted by ASI and market capitalisation was due to the listing of additional 2.26 billion ordinary shares of Abbey Mortgage Bank, offered by way of placement.
The upturn was largely boosted by capital appreciation recorded in the shares of mid and large capitalised stocks, namely: Guaranty Trust Bank, Zenith Bank, Access Bank, UACN and Ecobank Transnational Incorporated.
In spite of the market uptrend, analysts at Afrinvest Limited expected the bearish sentiment to persist for the rest of the week.
However, they noted that there were opportunities for bargain hunting.
Market breadth closed positive with 20 stocks gainers and 15 laggards.
Law Union and Rock Insurance led the gainers’ chart in percentage terms, with 9.78 per cent to close at N1.01 per share.
Wema Bank came second with a gain 7.58 per cent to close at 71k, while NAHCO appreciated by 7.31 per cent to close at N2.79 per share.
FCMB Group improved by 5.41 per cent to close at N1.95, while Fidelity Bank appreciated by 5.34 per cent to close at N2.17 per share.
Conversely, Skyway Aviation Handling Company led the losers’ chart in percentage terms with a loss of 9.88 per cent to close at N3.74 per share.
C& I Leasing followed with a decline of 9.77 per cent to close at N6, while Daar Communications dropped 8.33 to close at 33k per share.
Africa Prudential lost 5.33 per cent to close at N4.26, while Lasaco Assurance dipped 3.85 per cent to close at 25k per share.
However, the total volume of shares traded decreased by 9.4 per cent as investors bought and sold 317.19 million shares worth N3.43 billion in 4,340 deals.
This was against a turnover of 350.21 million shares valued at N4.28 billion achieved in 4,729 deals on Wednesday.
FBN Holdings topped the activity chart with 57.28 million shares valued at N345.56 million.
FCMB Group trailed with 43.23 million shares worth N84.17 million, while Zenith Bank accounted for 34.29 million shares valued at N705.54 million.
United Bank for Africa sold 24.08 million shares worth N192.997 million, while Nigerian Breweries transacted 22.73 million shares valued at N1.17 billion. (NAN)