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Blue-chips buoy market fortunes as index rises 0.30 per cent


Following bargain-hunting in most blue-chip stocks, the Nigerian equities market halted three days losing streak to close in an upbeat yesterday, causing the All-Share Index (ASI) increased by 0.30 per cent.
Yesterday, the ASI appreciated by 71.43 absolute points, or 0.30 per cent to close at 24,097.48 points. Similarly, the market capitalisation gained N38 billion to close at N12.571 trillion.
The upturn was impacted by gains recorded in large and medium value stocks, including; Airtel Africa, BUA Cement, Zenith Bank, Red Star Express, and PZ Cussons Nigeria.

Analysts at Afrinvest Limited said: “Given the low prices, we expect bargain-hunting to continue in the near term.”

But market breadth closed relatively negative, with 17 gainers against 18 laggards. Red Star Express recorded the highest price gain of 9.76 per cent to close at N3, 26 per share. Wapic Insurance followed with 6.06 per cent to close at 35 kobo, and C & I Leasing appreciated by 5.26 per cent to close at N4.00, per share.
PZ Cussons Nigeria rose five per cent to close at N4.20, while Mutual Benefits Assurance edged up 4.76 per cent to close at 22 kobo, per share.
On the other hand, Okomu Oil led the losers’ chart by 9.95 per cent to close at N69.70, while Unilever Nigeria and MRS Oil Nigeria followed with 9.78 per cent each to close at N12.45 per share.

AXA Mansard Insurance lost 9.66 per cent to close at N1.59, while Custodian Investment shed 9.09 per cent to close at N5.00, per share.
Also, total volume of trade decreased by 18 per cent to 155.529 million units valued at N2.601 billion, exchanged in 4,060 deals.
Transactions in the shares of Guaranty Trust Bank topped the activity chart with 19.724 million shares at N413.816 million. Access Bank followed with 13.012 million shares worth N81.056 million.
MTN Nigeria traded 10.232 million shares valued at N1.177 billion.

United Bank for Africa (UBA) traded 10.189 million shares valued at N61.983 million, while Japaul Oil & Maritime Services transacted 9.624 million shares worth N2.050 million.


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