Market Extends Gains on Sustained Bargain Hunting in Bellwether Stocks

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Sustained bargain hunting in heavy weight counters saw the equities market extend its gains for the second day yesterday. The market had on Monday recovered from a spell of bearish trading that lasted 11 days.

But the bulls consolidated their control yesterday as 39 stocks appreciated in value compared with 15 that declined. Consequently the Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index (ASI) jumped 2.5 per cent to close at 37,854.92, while market capitalisation added N328.8 billion to close higher at N13.7 trillion.

According to analysts at Meristem Securities Limited, the mood in the market was upbeat as investor appetite showed encouraging signs of improvement.

“Bargain hunting on bellwether stocks such as Dangote Cement, Nigerian Breweries , GTBank drove the positive performance of the market. We expect this trend to persist in the days ahead as investors continue to take advantage of the relatively low prices across the sectors,” they said.

Oando Plc led the price gainers with 9.8 per cent followed by International Breweries Plc that garnered 7.6 per cent. Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc chalked up 6.3 per cent just as Honeywell Flour Mills Plc, Okomu Oil Palm Plc and Nigerian Breweries Plc gained 5.0 apiece.

Similarly, Lafarge Africa Plc, Diamond Bank Plc and Fidelity Bank Plc appreciated by 4.9 per cent each, while FCMB Group Plc went up by 4.8 per cent.

Conversely, Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc led the price losers with 6.6 per cent, trailed by Royal Exchange Plc with 5.8 per cent. UAC of Nigeria Plc shed 4.5 per cent, while First Aluminium Nigeria Plc, Total Nigeria Plc and Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc went down by 4.5 per cent, 4.3 per cent and 3.7 per cent in that order.

Meanwhile, activity level was mixed as volume traded rose 8.0 per cent to 339.7 million shares while value traded fell 15.2 per cent to N6.0 billion. The top traded stocks by volume were Access Bank (133.1 million shares), GTBank (39.3 million shares) and UBA (23.2 million shares) while GTBank (N1.6 billion), Access Bank (N1.4 billion) and Dangote Cement (N911.2 million) were the top traded stocks by value.

Sector performance was mostly bullish as four of the five indices higher. The NSE Industrial Goods Index and NSE Banking Index led with 3.2 per cent apiece.

The NSE Consumer Goods Index followed with 2.7 per cent while the NSE Insurance Index gained 0.2 per cent. On the negative side, the NSE Oil & Gas Index emerged the lone loser shedding 0.6 per cent.