Stock Market Rebounds on Bargain Hunting in Bellwether Counters

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Goddy Egene

The stock market rebounded on Tuesday following bargain hunting in bellwether counters after days of consistent decline. Consequently, the Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index (NSE ASI) appreciated by 0.56 per cent to close at 32,381.00, while market capitalisation added N65.4 billion to close higher at N11.8 trillion.

The market had last week recorded its highest weekly decline on persistent bearish. It opened this week on bearish note on Monday. However, the bulls returned yesterday as heavy weight stocks recorded gains. Specifically gains posted by Nestle Nigeria Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc, FBN Holdings Plc bolstered the performance of the market.

Despite the positive performance, analysts at Cordros Capital Limited said they maintained their negative outlook for the market in the short-to-medium term.

“We reiterate our negative outlook for the equities market in the short-to-medium term, amidst the lingering rout in emerging market assets, political concerns ahead of the 2019 elections, and the absence of a positive market trigger. However, positive macroeconomic fundamentals remain supportive of a recovery in the long term,” they said.

A total of 27 stocks appreciated while 18 depreciated. First Aluminium Plc led the price gainers with 10 per cent, trailed by Prestige Assurance Plc with 9.6 per cent. Royal Exchange Plc and Unity Bank Plc chalked up 9.5 per cent and 9.4 per cent respectively. LASACO Assurance Plc, which is preparing to issue 40 billion shares to raise additional capital also closed among the price gainers.

Conversely, Redstar Express Plc led the price losers with 9.0 per cent, followed by Standard Alliance Insurance Plc and Cornerstone Insurance Plc with 8.7 per cent apiece. Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc, Universal Insurance Plc shed 8.3 per cent and 8.0 per cent in that order.

Meanwhile, activity level strengthened as value and volume traded inched 23.3 per cent and 67.9 per cent to N2.7 billion and 269.8 million shares respectively. Access Bank Plc (N679.8 million), Zenith Bank (N338.4 million ), and International Breweries Plc (N229.7 million ) led the most traded stocks by value while Access Bank Plc (84.9 million shares ), Skye Bank Plc (22.9 million shares ) and Zenith Bank (16.4 million shares ) were the top traded stocks by volume.

In terms of sectoral performance, four of the five sectors tracked closed bullishly. The NSE Banking Index led gainers with 1.3 per cent. The NSE Oil & Gas Index and NSE Consumer Goods Index rose 0.3 pe cent each. The NSE Industrial Index went up by 0.02 per cent, while the NSE Insurance Index was the lone loser, shedding 0.2 per cent.