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.
Gold Prices Rise as Soft Dollar Supports Safe-haven Appeal
Gold prices firmed on Monday, propped up by a subdued dollar and slight retreat in the U.S. Treasury yields, with investors gearing up for a week of speeches from U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers for cues on the central bank’s rate hike path.
Spot gold was up 0.5% at $1,759.06 per ounce, as of 0400 GMT, while U.S. gold futures were up 0.4% at $1,759.00.
While the dollar index softened, the benchmark 10-year Treasury yields eased after hitting their highest since early-July. A weaker dollar offered support to gold prices, making bullion cheaper for holders of other currencies.
“Gold is still looking slightly precarious where it is right now, and it’s probably bouncing off key technical level around $1,750,” IG Market analyst Kyle Rodda said.
“Gold remains an yield story and that yield story is very much tied back to the tapering story.”
A slew of Fed officials are due to speak this week including Chairman Jerome Powell, who will testify this week before Congress on the central bank’s policy response to the pandemic.
“There’ll be a lot of questions being put to Fed speakers about what the dot plots implied last week and weather there is higher risk of heightened inflation going forward and that rate hikes could be coming in the first half of 2022,” Rodda added.
A pair of Federal Reserve policymakers said on Friday they felt the U.S. economy is already in good enough shape for the central bank to begin to withdraw support for the economy.
Gold is often considered a hedge against higher inflation, but a Fed rate hike would increase the opportunity cost of holding gold, which pays no interest.
Investors also kept a close watch on developments in debt-laden property giant China Evergrande saga as the firm missed a payment on offshore bonds last week, with further payment due this week.
Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, increased 0.1% to 993.52 tonnes on Friday from 992.65 tonnes in the prior session.
Silver rose 0.9% to $22.61 per ounce.
Platinum climbed 1.3% to $994.91, while palladium gained 0.7% to $1,985.32.
Brent Crude Oil Near $80 Per Barrel Amid Supply Constraints
Oil prices rose for a fifth straight day on Monday with Brent heading for $80 amid supply concerns as parts of the world sees demand pick up with the easing of pandemic conditions.
Brent crude was up $1.14 or 1.5% at $79.23 a barrel by 0208 GMT, having risen a third consecutive week through Friday. U.S. Oil added $1.11 or 1.5% to $75.09, its highest since July, after rising for a fifth straight week last week.
“Supply tightness continues to draw on inventories across all regions,” ANZ Research said in a note.
Rising gas prices as also helping drive oil higher as the liquid becomes relatively cheaper for power generation, ANZ analysts said in the note.
Caught short by the demand rebound, members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies, known as OPEC+, have had difficulty raising output as under-investment or maintenance delays persist from the pandemic.
China’s first public sale of state oil reserves has barely acted to cap gains as PetroChina and Hengli Petrochemical bought four cargoes totalling about 4.43 million barrels.
India’s oil imports hit a three-month peak in August, rebounding from nearly one-year lows reached in July, as refiners in the second-biggest importer of crude stocked up in anticipation of higher demand.
Oil Holds Near Highest Since 2018 With Global Markets Tightening
Oil held steady near the highest close since 2018, with the global energy crunch set to increase demand for crude as stockpiles fall from the U.S. to China.
Futures in London headed for a third weekly gain. Global onshore crude stocks sank by almost 21 million barrels last week, led by China, according to data analytics firm Kayrros, while U.S. inventories are near a three-year low. The surge in natural gas prices is expected to force some consumers to switch to oil, tightening the market further ahead of the northern hemisphere winter.
China on Friday sold oil to Hengli Petrochemical Co. and a unit of PetroChina Co. in the first auction of crude from its strategic reserves said traders with the knowledge of the matter. Grades sold included Oman, Upper Zakum and Forties.
Oil has rallied recently after a period of Covid-induced demand uncertainty, with some of the world’s largest traders and banks predicting prices may climb further amid the energy crisis. Global crude consumption could rise by an additional 370,000 barrels a day if natural gas costs stay high, according to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
“Underpinning the latest bout of price strength is a tightening supply backdrop,” said Stephen Brennock, an analyst at PVM Oil Associates Ltd.
Various underlying oil market gauges are also pointing to a strengthening market. The key spread between Brent futures for December and a year later is near $7, the strongest since 2019. That’s a sign traders are positive about the market outlook.
At the same time, the premium options traders are paying for bearish put options is the smallest since January 2020, another indication that traders are less concerned about a pullback in prices.
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