Nigerian equities rallied to a new highest index point to N9.03 trillion yesterday as investors stepped up demand for quoted equities on the back of considerable improvement in corporate earnings. With more than two gainers to a loser and widespread price appreciation, equities recorded average gain of 0.58 per cent or N52 billion to reach their highest index point in recent period.
Aggregate market value of all quoted companies on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) rose from its opening value of N8.975 trillion to close at N9.027 trillion, representing net capital gain of N52 billion. The All Share Index (ASI) – the main index that tracks prices at the Exchange, increased from 25,965.18 points to close at 26,116.79 points.
The sustained rally has moderated the negative average year-to-date return to -2.82 per cent.
All sectoral indices closed in the positive. The NSE Banking Index rose by 1.5 per cent. The NSE Oil & Gas Index appreciated by 0.6 per cent. The NSE Consumer Goods Index returned 0.4 per cent. The NSE Insurance Index inched up by 0.3 per cent while the NSE Industrial Goods Index closed flat.
There were 27 gainers against 13 losers. Unilever Nigeria led the gainers with a gain of N1.69 to close at N33.50. Forte Oil rose by N1 to close at N44. Guinness Nigeria rallied 99 kobo to close at N61. UAC of Nigeria chalked up 65 kobo to close at N14.40 while Ashaka Cement rose by 52 kobo to close at N10.96 per share.
Total turnover was above average with 264.49 million shares valued at N2.90 billion in 3,958 deals. Large-cap banks were the most active. Zenith Bank was the most active with 41.88 million shares worth N652.18 million. Guaranty Trust Bank followed with 37.75 million shares worth N1.01 billion while United Bank for Africa placed third with 34.03 million shares valued at N205.21 million.
On the negative side, Total Nigeria led the losers with a loss of N10 to close at N255. Seven-Up Bottling Company dropped by N4.75 to close at N90.25. Nascon Allied Industries declined by 42 kobo to close at N8.05. UACN Property Development Company dropped by 5.0 kobo to close at N1.75 while Continental Reinsurance and Unity Bank slipped by 4.0 kobo each to close at N1.07 and 54 kobo respectively.