- Equities on the Balance as Investors Await Half-year Results
Nigerian equities traded on the balance yesterday as investors weighed the prospects of corporate earnings in the light of current valuations. With 24 gainers and losers each, the overall market situation showed cautious optimism as investors realigned their portfolios.
Gains recorded by large-cap stocks however sustained the positive market performance for the 10th consecutive trading session. Benchmark indices at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) showed average day-on-day gain of 0.23 per cent, equivalent to net capital gain of N27 billion.
Aggregate market value of all quoted equities rose from its opening value of N11.524 trillion to close at N11.551 trillion. The All Share Index (ASI)-the main price index for the market, trended upward from 33,436.61 points to close at 33,514.93 points. With this, average year-to-date return rose to 24.71 per cent.
Sectoral indices underlined the tight market situation between the profit-takers and bargain-hunters. Two sectoral indices declined, two other indices appreciated while one index was flat. The NSE Oil & Gas Index appreciated by 1.4 per cent while the NSE Banking Index rose by 1.1 per cent. However, the NSE Insurance Index and NSE Industrial Goods Index declined by 0.5 per cent each while the NSE Consumer Goods Index closed flat.
Seplat Petroleum Development Company led the gainers with a gain of N9.98 to close at N485. Guinness Nigeria rose by N3.10 to close at N66.10. Okomu Oil Palm added N1.50 to close at N64.50. PZ Cussons Nigeria appreciated by N1.05 to close at N22.05 while Stanbic IBTC Holdings rose by 99 kobo to close at N32.49 per share.
On the downside, Nestle Nigeria led the losers with a loss of N16.50 to close at N903.50. Presco declined by N3.22 to close at N61.32. Dangote Cement lost N2 to close at N208. MRS Oil and Gas dropped by N1.86 to close at N35.44 while Flour Mills of Nigeria declined by N1.10 to close at N25.15 per share.
Total turnover stood at 331.43 million shares valued at N3.24 billion in 4,055 deals. The three most active stocks were Zenith Bank, with 33.11 million shares; United Bank for Africa (UBA), 28.24 million shares and FBN Holdings, which recorded a turnover of 26.55 million shares.
“As half year corporate scorecards begin to trickle in, we expect market performance to remain largely bullish – driven by positive earnings expectation,” Afrinvest Securities stated.