The bear run at the stock market was halted thursday on bargain hunting by investors, lifting the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) by 0.22 per cent to close at 25,517.00. Similarly, market capitalisation added N19.2 billion to close at N8.8 trillion. The market has been bearish in recent times, sending the NSE ASI to a seven-month low on Tuesday. However, the market rebounded yesterday on bargain hunting as investors capitalised on some of the highly discounted stocks to increase their portfolio. At the close trading, 19 stocks gained compared to 11 that depreciated.
Sterling Bank Plc led the price gainers with 5.7 per cent, followed by Oando Plc with 5.0 per cent. Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc and PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc advanced 4.9 per cent each, while Fidson Healthcare Plc and Diamond Bank Plc garnered 4.6 per cent and 4.4 per cent respectively. AIICO Insurance Plc and Glaxosmithkline Consumer Nigeria Plc appreciated by 3.5 per cent and 3.4 per cent in that order.
Conversely, Forte Oil Plc led price losers with 6.2 per cent to close at N70.00 per share. Julius Berger Nigeria plc trailed with 5.0 per cent, just as African Prudential Registrars Plc and Total Nigeria Plc rose by 4.3 per cent. Value of stocks traded rose by 5.01 per cent to N1.19 billion invested in 165.72 million shares. The most actively traded sectors were financial services (141.23 million shares); Conglomerates (12.91 million shares) and Consumer Goods (6.19 million shares), while the three most active stocks were: Diamond Bank Plc(34.42 million shares); Access Bank Plc (32.65 million shares) and FBN Holdings Plc (21.91 million shares).
In terms of sectoral performance, all the sectors closed in the green except the NSE Oil and Gas Index that shed weight. The NSE Banking Index led sector gainers after appreciating 0.75 per cent following investors’ swoop on GTBank Plc(+1.2 per cent) and United Bank for Africa Plc (+1.2 per cent). The uptrend in Nestle Nigeria Plc (+1.3 per cent), PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc (+4.9 per cent) and Nigerian Breweries Plc(+0.2 per cent) bolstered the NSE Consumer Goods Index by 0.50 per cent. Also the NSE Insurance Index appreciated 0.2 per cent on account of AIICO Insurance Plc (+3.5 per cent), while the NSE Industrial Goods Index rose 0.1 per cent.