The equities market halted a three-day bearish run to record the first positive performance yesterday since the start of the second half of the year. After shedding two per cent in three days, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) appreciated by 0.65 per cent to close at 37,743.22, while market capitalisation added N88.4 billion to be at N13.7 trillion.
Market operators said gains by bellwether stocks contributed to recovery of the market from the strong grip of the bears.
â€œCounters like Nigerian Breweries Plc, Dangote Cement Plc, GTBank Plc, amongst others recorded gains that drove the market into the positive region. These gains arose, as investors bought into the tickers, given the attractive prices,â€ analysts at Meristem Securities Limited said.
A total of 23 stocks appreciated compared with 20 others that depreciated. Multiverse Mining Plc led the price gainers with 10 per cent, trailed by Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc with 9.6 per cent. Japaul Oil and Maritime Services Plc garnered 8.3 per cent.
May & Baker Nigeria Plc and Sterling Bank Plc chalked up 5.7 per cent each, just as C & I Leasing Plc, Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc and Jaiz Bank Plc added 5.3 per cent, 5.1 per cent and 4.7 per cent respectively. Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc and Regency Alliance Assurance Plc advanced 4.7 per cent and 4.1 per cent in that order.
Other top price gainers included: Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc (3.5 per cent); Julius Berger Nigeria Plc (3.2 per cent); Dangote Cement Plc (2.2 per cent) and Honeywell Flour Mills Plc (1.9 per cent).
Conversely, Capital Oil Plc led the bears, shedding 9.1 per cent, followed by N.E.M Insurance Plc that appreciated by 8.8 per cent. Champion Breweries Plc went down by 8.00 per cent, just as Double One Plc, Unity Bank Plc and University Press Plc depreciated by 7.8 per cent, 7.2 per cent and 6.4 per cent respectively.
Meanwhile, activity level increased as volume and value traded surged 30.2 per cent and 146.8 per cent to 497.1 million shares and N5.9 billion respectively. The top traded stocks by volume were United Bank of Africa(UBA) Plc (294.9 million shares), Zenith Bank Plc (38.3 million shares) and Access Bank Plc (34.4 million shares) while UBA (N3.1 billion), Zenith Bank (N930.7 million) and GTBank (N546.1 million) were the top traded stocks by value.
Across sectors, performance was mixed as three of five indices closed in the green. The NSE Industrial Goods Index emerged top performer, rising 1.3 per cent , while the NSE Banking Index and NSE Consumer Goods Index appreciated by 0.3 per cent and 0.2 per cent.