The value of equities in the Nigerian Stock Exchange appreciated by N121bn on Thursday in a second-day gain after straight losses for 10 days. This feat was realised despite the fall in the share prices of 14 firms quoted on the Exchange.
Data at the end of trading showed a rise in market capitalisation from N8.025tn to N8.146tn and an appreciation in the NSE All-Share Index from 23,335.01 basis points to 23,686.67 basis points.
A total of 476.148 million shares worth N3.636bn exchanged hands in 5,398 deals, with 29 firms gaining on their share value.
The highest index point recorded in the trading session was 23,686.67 basis points, while the lowest and the average index points were 22,456.32 and 23,108.57 basis points, respectively.
FBN Holdings Plc, Union Bank Nigeria Plc, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Okomu Oil Palm Plc and 7UP Bottling Company Plc emerged top five gainers after the close of trading.
Other gainers were: Skye Bank Plc, Livestock Feeds Plc,Nestle Nigeria Plc, AIICO Insurance Plc, Nascon allied Industries Plc, UACN Plc, Portland Paints and Products Plc, Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, N.E.M. Insurance Company Nigeria Plc, Eterna Plc, Cutix Plc, Airline service and Logistics Plc, May & Baker Nigeria Plc, Tiger Branded Consumer Goods Plc, and Diamond Bank Plc.
Unity Bank Plc, Learn Africa Plc, PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc, Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, Custodian and Allied Plc, and Dangote Cement Plc also emerged gainers.
FBN Holdings shares appreciated by N0.41 (10.25 per cent) to close at N4.41 from N4, while those of Union Bank gained N0.49 (9.94 per cent) to close at N5.42 from N4.93.
The share price of Nigerian Breweries closed at N105.50 from N97.60, gaining N7.90 (8.09 per cent).
Similarly, the shares of Okomu Oil Palm appreciated by N2.01 (7.18 per cent) to close at N30 from N27.99, while those of 7UP rose by N10.99 (6.78 per cent) to close at N172.99 from N162.
Honeywell Flour Mill Plc, Sterling Bank Plc, Vitafoam Nigeria Plc, Axamansard Insurance Plc, and Fidelity Bank Plc emerged the top five losers on Thursday.
Other losers on Thursday were: Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, Ashaka Cement Plc, Lafarge Africa Plc, Flour Mill Nigeria Plc, Africa Prudential Registrars Plc, Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, Berger Paints Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and Access Bank Plc.
Honeywell Flour Mill shares fell by N0.15 (9.2 per cent) to close at N1.48 from N1.63, while those of Sterling Bank lost N0.16 (8.99 per cent) to close at N1.62 from N1.78.
The share price of Vitafoam Nigeria Plc depreciated by N0.40 (8.03 per cent) to close at N4.58 from N4.98.
Axamansard Insurance shares fell to N2.28 from N2.40, losing N0.12 (five per cent), while Fidelity Bank shares recorded a loss of N0.06 (4.48 per cent) to close at N1.28 from N1.34.
In the second week of this month, some capital market experts in the country had expressed optimism about the performance of the market this year.
They said the current bearish trend in the market was temporary, as the market was expected to be slightly bullish later in the year.
Research analysts at Meristem Securities, in the company’s 2016 outlook, said, “Based on our mix of methodologies, we arrived at a forecast 2016 index level of 30,244 points, indicating a 5.59 per cent potential market return by December 31, 2016.
“Although predicted, the extended bearish mood in the stock market appeared to have unsettled investors as sell sentiments pervaded activities on the Nigerian bourse, with 31 stocks recording positive year-on-year returns, while 88 stocks diminished in value by 2015 year end.
“In line with this trend, the Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index, which measures the performance of the bourse, pegged at 28,642.25 points, representing a 17.36 per cent decline from December 31, 2014.”
For 2015, they said the performance of the equities market was largely buoyed by weak corporate earnings occasioned by major economic headwinds, weak demand, rising insurgency and foreign exchange conundrum.
While the analyst expected some respite in 2016, they also anticipated that the trends in equities market would be extended to the early months of 2016.