Nigerian equities continued on the uptrend for the fourth consecutive trading session as fund managers continued to re-balance their portfolios for the year-end.
Today is the last trading session for this year and the stock market will close by 12.30 pm, two hours earlier than the usual closing time for the market. Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka will beat the closing gong to close the market for the 2016 business year, keeping to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE)’s tradition of ceremonial closure for the market.
With 24 gainers to 20 losers, aggregate market value of all quoted equities rose from N9.183 trillion to close at N9.215 trillion, representing a gain of N32 billion.
The All Share Index (ASI), the common index that tracks prices at the Exchange, also rose from 26,688.25 points to close at 26,782.93 points.
Oil and gas stocks remained atop on both sides of bargain-hunting and profit-taking. Total Nigeria led the gainers with a gain of N11.88 to close at N299. Seplat Petroleum Development Company followed with a gain of N9.49 to close at N379.99. Guaranty Trust Bank rose by N1.35 to close at N24.74. Okomu Oil Palm added 65 kobo to close at N40.17 while Ashaka Cement garnered 57 kobo to close at N12.02 per share.
On the other hand, Forte Oil led the losers with a loss of N10.07 to close at N93.54. Mobil Oil Nigeria followed with a loss of N2 to close at N290. Stanbic IBTC Holdings declined by 66 kobo to close at N15. Access Bank lost 19 kobo to close at N5.78. Champion Breweries dropped by 12 kobo to close at N2.38 while Airlines and Services Logistics lost 12 kobo to close at N2.43.
Total turnover was below average at 117.40 million shares valued at N877.63 million in 2,392 deals. FCMB Group was the most active with 12.77 million shares worth N13.9 million. Zenith Bank followed with 11.76 million shares valued at N174.15 million while FBN Holdings placed third with 11.6 million shares worth N40.31 million.
Analysts at Afrinvest Securities noted that the uptrend has been largely dictated by end of year portfolio rebalancing by institutional investors.
“We expect this bullish sentiment to persist in (today) tomorrow’s trading session as the market closes for the year,” Afrinvest Securities stated.