Bargain hunting by investors pushed the stock market into the positive territory yesterday, as the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) rose 0.60 per cent to close at 26,695.18. The market had depreciated by 1.19 per cent last week following profit taking after four weeks of appreciation.
Some analysts had envisaged that profit taking might continue this week. However, the bulls took control of trading as 17 stocks appreciated while only eight depreciated.
Bellwethers such as Dangote Cement Plc, Access Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc,Ecobank Transnational Incorporated and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc were among the price gainers. But Guinness Nigeria Plc led the gainers table with 9.8 per cent, trailed by PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc with 9.5 per cent. A.G Leventis Nigeria Plc garnered 7.6 per cent, while UBA and Access Bank Plc chalked up 7.0 per cent and 4.2 per cent respectively.
Oando Plc, which last week was only the indigenous firm among those that signed Gas Supply Agreement (GSA) with Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG), also closed higher at the stock market yesterday.
Group Chief Executive Officer of Oando, Mr. Adewale Tinubu had said they were particularly pleased to be the only indigenous company party to the NLNG supply agreement, testament to the potential of local players.
“The signing of these two agreements confirms and consolidates our long-term partnership with NLNG, furthermore it is a validation of NLNG’s confidence in our operational track record. The execution of the GSA is another positive stride in our journey to becoming the leading independent exploration and production company, being a 20 year guaranteed income stream it will strengthen our financial position as well as demonstrate to our key stakeholders the company’s growth potential,” Tinubu said.
On the negative side, Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc and Cornerstone Insurance Plc led the price losers with 9.0 per cent apiece. University Press Plc followed with 8.3 per cent decline, while FBN Holdings Plc and Royal Exchange Plc shed 3.8 per cent each.
In terms of sectoral performance, the NSE Banking Index led, rising 1.6 per cent, following gains recorded by Access Bank, UBA and GTBank Plc. The NSE Industrial Index and NSE Consumer Goods Index appreciated by 1.0 per cent and 0.4 per cent in that order. Similarly, the NSE Insurance Index and NSE Oil & Gas Index grew by 0.3 per cent and 0.1 per cent respectively.