Nigerian equities opened the week with a tit-for-tat trading pattern but gains by influential, large-cap stocks rallied the market to net gain of N75 billion.
With equal number of advancers and decliners, the market rode on the back of gains by blue chips in telecommunications and manufacturing sectors to close positive.
The All Share Index (ASI)- the value-based common index that tracks all share prices at the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) rose by 138.63 points or 0.21 per cent to close at 65,336.71 points.
Aggregate market value of all quoted equities rose simultaneously by N75 billion to close at N35.555 trillion.
The overall market performance was driven by price appreciation in large-cap stocks including MTN Communications Nigeria, BUA Foods, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria and Cadbury Nigeria.
There were 25 gainers and losers each.
Nigerian Enamelware recorded the highest gain of 9.86 per cent to close at N19.50 per share. Wema Bank followed with a gain of 9.77 per cent to close at N4.72. University Press rose by 9.73 per cent to close at N2.48 per share. SUNU Assurance rose by 9.68 per cent to close at N1.02 while GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria rallied 9.55 per cent to close at N9.75 per share.
On the negative side, Omatek Ventures led with a loss of 8.82 per cent to close at 31 kobo. Prestige Assurance followed with a decline of 7.84 per cent to close at 47 kobo. McNichols lost 7.35 per cent to close at 63 kobo. Cornerstone Insurance declined by 7.22 per cent to close at 90 kobo while Coronation Insurance dipped by 5.97 per cent to close at 63 kobo.
The total volume of trades declined by 7.9 per cent to 334.33 million shares valued at N3.89 billion in 6,940 deals. Sterling Financial Holdings Company topped the activity chart with 55.141 million shares valued at N197.266 million. FCMB Group followed with 28.249 million shares worth N173.844 million. Fidelity Bank traded 18.842 million shares valued at N150.847 million. Japaul Gold & Ventures traded 17.356 million shares valued at N17.019 million while Access Holding transacted 17.101 million shares worth N296.636 million.
Most analysts expected the market to sustain a bullish trend this week.
“We expect the bullish sentiments in the equities market to persist on the back of the market’s attractiveness over the depressed rates in the fixed-income market.
“Also, we believe the positive sentiments around the new policy direction will continue to drive the rally in the market. Lastly, the recent S & P upgrading of Nigeria’s outlook from ‘negative’ to ‘stable’ would further drive positive sentiments,” United Capital stated.