Stocks market hits new high on sustained bargain hunting

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Trading in the domestic equities market continued on bullish note as bargain hunting lifted indicators to new record highs. The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (NSE ASI) rose 2.1 per cent, the highest daily gain since May 5, to close at 27,554.49. Thus, the year-to-date performance, which entered positive territory last Friday, improved to 2.7 per cent yesterday.

Market capitalisation added N299 billion to close at N14.4 trillion, volume of trading rose 31.4 per cent to 603.95 million shares worth N7.42 billion in 5,984 deals.

After seven months in the negative territory, the market last week recovered following increased demand for stocks by investors shifting from the fixed income market where yields are getting lower.

And analysts at Greenwich Research had attributed to the positive tilt of the market partly to the payment of interim dividends, which they said was making investors to position in fundamentally sound counters ahead of third quarter (Q3) earnings reports. They also cited the end of month portfolio rebalancing by fund managers.

“ We expect sentiment to remain positive in the coming week, supported by cheap valuations of equities and low yields in the fixed-income markets. However, we anticipate that profit-taking will puncture the current gaining streak,” they said.

At the close of the trading yesterday, 36 stocks added value, while only 10 stocks depreciated. Bellwethers such as MTN Nigeria Plc, Airtel Africa Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, FBN Holdings Plc, GTBank Plc among others.

However, Glaxosmithkline Consumer Nigeria Plc and Redstar Express Plc led the price gainers with 10 per cent apiece. NPF Microfinance Bank Plc trailed with 6.6 per cent, while African Prudential Plc and Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc chalked up 9.4 per cent and 8.3 per cent in that order.

Other top price gainers included: WAPIC Insurance Plc (8.3 per cent); Fidelity Bank Plc ( 8.1 per cent); Linkage Assurance Plc (7.8 per cent); LASACO Insurance Plc (7.1 per cent) and Guinness Nigeria Plc (7.1 per cent).

Conversely, Tripple Gee & Company Plc led the price losers with 10 per cent, trailed by Oando Plc with 8.7 per cent. UACN Property Development Company Plc shed 6.5 per cent, while Chams Plc and Union Bank of Nigeria Plc 4.7 per cent and 2.0 per cent respectively.

Meanwhile, Zenith Bank Plc was the most traded stock by volume and value at 204.69 million shares and N3.83 billion, respectively.

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