Investors staked N2.434 billion on 190 million shares in 2,896 deals at the stock market yesterday even as the bulls reclaimed control pushing the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (NSE ASI) to close 0.09 per cent higher at 26, 240.45. The market had declined the previous day when investors reacted to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decision to retain the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 14 per cent. The MPC, which met on Monday and Tuesday voted unanimously to maintain status quo by retaining the: MPR at 14 per cent; Cash Reserve Ratio at 22.5 per cent and Liquidity Ratio at 30 per cent.
Analysts had said retaining the MPR at 14 per cent would make the fixed income securities remain more attractive to investors than the equities market.
Analysts at Meristem Securities Limited, said: “Given that the MPC maintained the status quo on all policy variables, we expect the weak market mood will continue to dictate the direction of activities in the equities market. However, we advise investors to continually assess the market for opportunities to take positions in fundamentally justified stocks ahead of the full year 2016 earnings season,” analysts at Meristem Securities Limited had said.
However, the market recovered as some bargain hunters swooped on shares, making 21 equities to close higher while 16 declined. NASCON Allied Industries Plc led the price gainers with 4.9 per cent trailed by Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc with 4.6 per cent. Custodian and Allied Plc appreciated by 3.3 per cent, just as Oando Plc chalked up 2.3 per cent.
Conversely, Honeywell Four Mills Plc, Livestock Feeds Plc led the price losers with 4.9 per cent apiece. A.G Leventis Plc and UACN Property Development Company Plc shed 4.6 per cent each.
Sectoral performance indicates that only the NSE Banking Index depreciated by 0.08 per cent. The NSE Oil/Gas Index appreciated by 0.49 per cent, while NSE Industrial Goods Index, NSE Insurance Index and NSE Consumer Goods Index grew by 0.41 per cent, 0.14 per cent and 0.04 per cent.
Commenting on the performance, analysts at MSL said: “We attribute the gains recorded in the market today to pockets of bargain hunting on fundamentally strong stocks. We expect the seesaw market mood to continue for the rest of the trading week.”
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