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Japaul, Wapic, Total lead gainers as market sustains rally

Japaul, Wapic, Total lead gainers as market sustains rally

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Stanley Opara

The equities market on Thursday continued on its positive trajectory as Japaul Oil & Maritime Service Plc, Wapic Insurance Plc and Total Nigeria Plc emerged as the best performing stocks.

At the close of trading on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, a total of 342.101 million shares valued at N3.095bn exchanged hands in 4,943 deals.

Japaul, Wapic and Total’s shares appreciated respectively by 5.4 per cent, 4.9 per cent and 4.8 per cent while the worst performing stocks – Unic Diversified Holdings Plc, Courtville Business Solutions Plc and AG Leventis Nigeria Plc – depreciated respectively by 6.7 per cent, 5.6 per cent and five per cent.

Market breadth turned positive compared to Wednesday as 24 stocks trended northwards against 17, which plummeted.

“The market is likely to trade sideways to end the week. Market outlook however remains positive in the immediate term,” analysts at FSDH Group said in a post.

In the same vein, Meristem Securities said, “The gains witnessed during Thursday’s trading session can be attributed to the positive sentiment which permeated all sectors, save for the consumer goods sector. We forestall that the current market mood will be sustained tomorrow and envisage a positive close to the week, given the market’s performance thus far.”

Thus, analysts at Afrinvest Securities stated that, “We expect the market to sustain a positive close to the week as investors seek for bargain opportunities in the market ahead of full year earnings releases.”

The NSE All-Share Index rose by 0.2 per cent to settle at 42,258.78 from 42,158.32 basis points while the year-to-date return improved to 10.5 per cent.

As a result, investors gained N36.1bn in value as market capitalisation rose to N15.165tn from 15.129tn.

Sustained buying interest in banking stocks, especially in United Bank for Africa Plc, FBN Holdings Plc and Zenith Bank Plc, which drove the respective shares upwards by 3.2 per cent, 3.1 per cent and 3.1 per cent, was the main driver of the market’s positive performance.

However, activity level softened as volume and value traded slumped by 40 per cent and 41.9 per cent to 342.101 million units and N3.095bn, respectively.

Performance across sectors was largely positive as all indices, except for the consumer goods index which shed 0.3 per cent, appreciated. The consumer goods index recorded losses in Nigerian Breweries Plc and Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, which depreciated respectively by 1.3 per cent and 2.7 per cent.

 The banking and oil/gas indices appreciated 0.7 per cent apiece due to a rally in Zenith, UBA and Total shares.

Similarly, bargain hunting in Wapic and Aiico Insurance Plc, boosted their share prices by 4.9 per cent and 4.3 per cent, accordingly, as the insurance index advanced by 0.3 per cent.  Also, the industrial goods index rose by 0.2 per cent as Lafarge Africa Plc appreciated by 0.5 per cent.

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