Despite government’s decision to extend the lockdown in Lagos, Abuja and Ogun states by additional 14 days, the Nigerian equities market commenced trading in an upbeat yesterday, as index appreciated further by 2.32 per cent.
The market re-opened for transaction yesterday after the one –day public holidays declared by the federal government to mark the Easter celebrations.
Specifically, the All-Share Index (ASI) gained 495.92 absolute points, representing a growth of 2.32 per cent to close at 21,879.95 points. Similarly, the market capitalisation gained N259 billion to close at N11.403 trillion.
The upturn was largely boosted by capital appreciation recorded in the shares of the following mid and large capitalised stocks, Dangote Cement, MTN Nigeria, Stanbic IBTC Holdings, Nigerian Breweries and Guaranty Trust Bank.
Analysts at United Capital Plc predicted that trading activities would remain positive; as investors continue to lock in, at the current relatively low prices.
Also, the positive development in the oil market is expected to reduce the risk-off the sentiment of foreign portfolio investors and local investors towards Nigerian equities.
Market breadth closed positive, 29 stocks posted gains while 12 stocks posted declines.
Oando recorded the highest price gain of 10 per cent, to close at N2.40, per share. Nigerian Breweries followed with a gain 9.91 per cent to close at N24.40, while Conoil appreciated by 9.89 per cent to close at N14.45, per share.
Stanbic IBTC Holdings went up by 9.62 per cent to close at N28.50, while Chams appreciated by 9.52 per cent to close at 23 kobo, per share.
On the other hand, PZ Cussons Nigeria led the losers’ chart by 9.09 per cent, to close at N4.00, per share. Red Star Express followed with a decline of 5.86 per cent to close at N2.73 per share. Lasaco Assurance went down by 4.35 to close at 22 kobo, per share.
Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp) lost 4.29 per cent to close at 67 kobo, while Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals shed 3.85 per cent to close at 50 kobo, per share.
Overall, a total turnover of 557.82 million shares worth N2.617 billion in 5,310 deals was traded yesterday by investors.
Transactions in the shares of Omoluabi Mortgage Bank topped the activity chart with 293 million shares valued at N161.15 million.
FBN Holdings followed with 51.819 million shares worth N243.45 million, while United Bank for Africa (UBA) traded 35.645 million shares valued at N220.52 million.
Zenith Bank traded 35.59 million shares valued at N505.51 million, while Fidelity Bank transacted 25.997 million shares worth N53.447 million.