Trading on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange closed on a positive note on Thursday as oil and gas stocks led gains in the market, which appreciated by N2bn.
Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc, Forte Oil Plc and Oando Plc made it to the top-five list on the equities chart.
The NSE market capitalisation rose marginally to N8.691tn from N8.689tn, while the All-Share Index closed at 25,265.08 basis points from 25,241.63 basis points.
A total of 773.866 million shares valued at N1.91tn exchanged hands in 2,334 deals.
The NSE ASI opened the month on a slightly positive note (appreciating by 0.009 per cent) as the appeal of heavily battered stocks continued to spur buying across board.
The oil and gas sector once again outperformed other key sectors, getting a boost from Mobil Oil and Forte Oil, which bounced back from recent declines to close 10.22 per cent up.
The financial services sector also extended their gains following advances in Wema Bank Plc and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc by 1.85 per cent and 0.66 per cent, respectively.
The consumer goods sector, however, retraced previous session’s gains, weighed down by Nigerian Breweries Plc (which slid by 1.37 per cent) despite gains in International Breweries Plc and Dangote Flour Plc by 3.15 per cent and 2.82 per cent, respectively.
The industrial goods sector closed relatively flat.
Market breadth turned positive with 18 advances and 14 declines.
Commenting on the possible outcome of the next trading session, analysts at Vetiva Capital Management Limited said, “We believe ASI could nick another positive performance at week close as investors continue to take advantage of depressed equity prices.”
On the global scene, Asian markets traded higher with energy stocks leading advances, riding on the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ decision to cut oil production by 1.2 million barrels per day.
However, European markets were lower amid heightened political uncertainty in Italy ahead of a key referendum on Sunday while the United States futures indicated a flat open.
Meanwhile, the average Treasury bills yield advances to 18.36 per cent as sell sentiments pervaded the FGN bonds space.
The Open Buy Back rate remained flat at 10 per cent at the close of Thursday’s trades while the overnight rate advanced by 0.34 per cent to 11.17 per cent. Subsequently, the average money market rate increased to 10.59 per cent.
The outcome of the Primary Market Auction, which held on Wednesday, revealed that there was an oversubscription across all tenors auctioned.
The stop rate for the 91-day instrument was maintained at 13.99 per cent; the 182-day bill advanced marginally to close at 17.49 per cent while the rate for the 364-day bill pared, settling at 18.69 per cent.
According to analysts at Meristem Securities Limited, sentiments in the secondary market remained mixed though mostly skewed towards the sell side as the average yield advanced to 18.36 per cent.
The activities in the Treasury bonds market somewhat mirrored that of Wednesday. The 0.22 per cent advancement recorded in the yield of the April 2017 bond bolstered the rise in average bond to 16.69 per cent.
At the interbank foreign exchange market, the naira closed flat at N305/dollar at the end of the day’s trades.
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