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Bargain-hunting ahead of H1 earnings triggers stock market recovery

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• As index rises by 1.2% 
After several weeks of persistent bearish trend, the Nigerian stock market rebounded yesterday, amid bargain-hunting in bellwether stocks, as the All-share index appreciated by 1.2 per cent.
 
At the close of transactions Tuesday, the All -share Index (ASI) gained 336.18 absolute points, or 1.21 per cent to close at 28,144.87 points. Similarly, the market capitalisation gained N163 billion to close at N13.716 trillion.
 
The upturn was largely boosted by capital appreciation recorded in the shares of Nestle Nigeria, Dangote Cement, Lafarge Africa, MTN Nigeria, and Cement Company of Northern Nigeria (CCNN). Analysts at GTI Capital Limited attributed the trend to investors’ positioning in anticipation of the release of half-year (H1) earnings and interim dividend announcements. 

   
Also, analysts at Afrinvest Limited, said: “We expect bearish performance to dominate activities in the market, although we see opportunity for bargain-hunting.”
   
Market breadth closed positive, 21 stocks posted gains while 15 declined. Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals recorded the highest price gain of 10 per cent to close at 55 kobo per share. Lafarge Africa followed with 9.92 per cent to close at N14.40, and Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) gained 9.36 per cent to close at N2.57, per share.

Also, Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN) rose 6.20 per cent to close at N6.85, while Wapic Insurance added 5.56 per cent to close at 38 kobo, per share.

On the other hand, Forte Oil led the losers’ chart with 9.93 per cent to close at N18.15 per share. International Breweries followed with 9.80 per cent to close at N13.80, while Cornerstone Insurance shed 9.09 to close at 20 kobo, per share. 
Linkage Assurance lost 8.62 per cent to close at 53 kobo, while Ikeja Hotel shed 8.22 per cent to close at N1.34, per share.
   
However, the total volume traded fell 52.69 per cent to 135.18 million shares worth N2.09 billion, traded in 3,358 deals. Transactions in the shares of Guaranty Trust Bank topped the activity chart with 15.65 million shares valued at N453.43 million.Zenith Bank followed with 12.57 million shares worth N232.73 million, while Lafarge Africa traded 12.16 million shares at N172.8 million. Sterling Bank traded 11.99 million shares valued at N26.91 million, while Wapic Insurance transacted 7.43 million shares worth N2.83 million.


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