The stock market appreciated further yesterday on continued bargain hunting by investors. As a result the NSE All-Share Index 0.58 per cent to close higher at 30,137.53, while market capitalisation added N64.4 billion to end at N11.2 trillion.
Buying interest in Zenith Bank Plc, Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc and Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc propelled the positive performance.
However, Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc led the price gainers with 10 per cent, trailed by Ikeja Hotel Plc with 9.3 per cent. Royal Exchange Plc and C & I Leasing Plc garnered 9.0 per cent apiece. NEM Insurance Plc, AXA Mansard Insurance Plc and United Capital Plc chalked up 8.6 per cent, 8.3 per cent and 8.0 per cent respectively.
Conversely, Newrest ASL Services Plc led the price losers with 9.4 per cent followed by Veritas Kapital Assurance Plc with 9.0 per cent. Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc shed 8.5 per cent, just as First Aluminum Nigeria Plc went down by 8.3 per cent.
Activity level also strengthened as volume and value traded surged 126.7 per cent to 300.1 million shares and 199.2 per cent to N3.2 billion. Diamond Bank (100.7 million shares), GTBank (39.4 million shares ) and UBA (26.2 million shares ) were the top traded stocks by volume, while GTBank(N1.3 billion), Zenith Bank (N463.0 million) and Diamond Bank (N209.4 million) were the top traded by value.
The Chief Executive Officer of the NSE, Mr. Oscar Onyema on Monday expressed optimism that the market will bounce back in the second half (H2) of this year.
“Domestically, we believe market sentiments in the first half (H1) of the year will be driven by uncertainty in the oil prices as well as the 2019 general elections. Accordingly, we anticipate volatility in equities market in H1 in 2019 with enhanced stability post-elections.
We believe swift approval and implementation of the 2019 budget may have a positive impact on the companies’ earnings as well as consumer spending. Therefore, we anticipate a return of listings during the year with an uptick in market activity during the H2 of 2019,” he said.
Speaking on the protection of domestic investors, Onyema assured that the exchange would ensure that listed companies stick to listing requirements for the benefits of shareholders.
He said the stock exchange was also working closely with listed companies to assist them to be able to comply with the listing requirements, saying that delisting by some companies should not be a cause of worry.