The domestic equities market of the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) on Thursday closed positive with a gain of 0.11 per cent, buoyed by price uptick in Airtel Africa Plc and 24 others.
The All-Share Index (ASI) gained 81.91 basis points 0.11 per cent to close at 71,365.25 basis points. Also, market capitalisation rose by N44 billion to close at N39.052 trillion.
The upturn was driven by price appreciation in large and medium capitalised stocks amongst which are; Airtel Africa, Northern Nigeria Flour Mills (NNFM), Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), MeCure Industries and Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCO).
On market performance, Afrinvest Limited said “we expect the market to sustain the positive performance in tomorrow’s trading session due to improved investor sentiment.”
Also, analysts at InvestmentOne Research said, “The Nigerian equities market closed positive today due to the optimism observed in AIRTELAFRI and the Industrial sector. Going forward, we expect investor s sentiments to be swayed by the search for real positive returns and developments in the interest rate space. We reiterate that this may be a great period to pick up some quality names with a medium to long-term investment horizon.”
Investor sentiment, as measured by market breadth closed negative as 24 stocks advanced, while 32 declined. NNFM emerged the highest price gainer of 10 per cent to close at N35.20, per share. Thomas Wyatt Nigeria followed with a gain of 9.62 per cent to close at N2.28, while MeCure Industries advanced by 9.09 per cent to close at N12.00, per share.
Champion Breweries rose by 7.69 per cent to close at N3.50, while ETI appreciated by 6.25 per cent to close at N17.00, per share. On the other side, Secure Electronic Technology led others on the losers’ chart with 9.72 per cent to close at 65 kobo, per share. Unity Bank followed with a decline of 9.68 per cent to close at N1.40, while Tantalizers shed 9.43 per cent to close at 48 kobo, per share.
DAAR Communications depreciated by 9.38 per cent to close at 29 kobo, while Deap Capital Management & Trust declined by 9.23 per cent to close at 59 kobo, per share.
The total volume of trade increased by 49.77 per cent to 540.086 million units, valued at N10.243 billion, and exchanged in 6,516 deals. Transactions in the shares of GTCO led the activity with 67.23 million shares worth N2.603 billion. Universal Insurance followed with account of 56.747 million shares valued at N13.662 million, while Consolidated Hallmark Holdings traded 46.100 million shares valued at N64.328 million.
Transnational Corporation (Transcorp) traded 42.756 million shares worth N294.338 million, while FBN Holdings (FBNH) traded 36.028 million shares worth N787.474 million.