Market rebounds as financial stocks lift index by 0.17%

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Following renewed interest in the shares of some banking and insurance stocks, the Nigerian equities market rebounded yesterday, to halt eight consecutive sessions of the downturn, causing the All Share Index (ASI) to appreciate by 0.17 per cent.

Precisely, at the close of trading Thursday, the ASI gained 46.65 absolute points, representing a growth of 0.17 per cent to close at 28,140.41 points. Similarly, market capitalisation gained N26 billion, or 0.18 per cent rise to close at N14.497 trillion.

The rise, may however be attributed to the listing of additional 2.26 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo  each by Abbey Mortgage Bank Plc, offered by way of placement.

Additionally, the upturn was largely boosted by capital appreciation recorded in the shares of mid and large value stocks, including Guaranty Trust Bank, Zenith Bank, Access Bank, UAC of Nigeria (UACN), and Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI).

Despite the uptrend in the market, analysts at Afrinvest Limited expected the bearish sentiment to persist for the rest of the week. “However, we note that there are opportunities for bargain-hunting.

Market breadth closed positive, 20 stocks posted gains while 15 declined. Law Union and Rock Insurance recorded the highest price gain of 9.78 per cent to close at N1.01 per share. Wema Bank followed with 7.58 per cent to close at 71 kobo, and Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO), 7.31 per cent to close at N2.79, per share.

FCMB Group rose 5.41 per cent to close at N1.95, while Fidelity Bank gained 5.34 per cent to close at N2.17, per share.

On the other hand, Skyway Aviation Handling Company led the losers’ chart by 9.88 per cent to close at N3.74, per share. CI Leasing followed with 9.77 per cent to close at N6.00, and Daar Communications 8.33 to close at 33 kobo, per share.

Africa Prudential lost 5.33 per cent to close at N4.26, and Lasaco Assurance shed 3.85 per cent to close at 25 kobo, per share.

Despite the index rise, total volume traded fell 9.4 per cent to 317.19 million shares worth N3.43 billion, traded in 4,340 deals. Transactions in the shares of FBN Holdings (FBNH) topped the activity chart with 57.28 million shares valued at N345.56 million. FCMB Group followed with 43.23 million shares worth N84.17 million, and Zenith Bank traded 34.29 million shares valued at N705.54 million.

United Bank for Africa (UBA) traded 24.08 million shares at N192.997 million, while Nigerian Breweries transacted 22.73 million shares worth N1.17 billion.

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