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Bulls sustain market ride, lifts index further by 0.14 percent

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The Nigerian equities market sustained a rising profile at the end of yesterday’s transactions, as more blue-chip stocks joined the league of gainers, resulting to a further rise in the All Share Index (ASI) by 0.14 per cent.
   
At the close of trading, Wednesday, the ASI rose by 34.83 absolute points or 0.14 per cent to close at 25,171.32 points. Similarly, the market capitalisation added N18 billion to close at N13.131 trillion.
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The uptrend was impacted by gains recorded in large and medium value stocks, including Guaranty Trust Bank, International Breweries, Studio Press Nigeria, Zenith Bank, and United Bank for Africa (UBA).
   
Analysts noted that the market closed higher with the help of interim dividend paying stocks that inched in value as investors position ahead of their half-year audited earnings reports.
   
For instance, analysts at Afrinvest Limited said: “We expect bargain hunting to persist in subsequent trading days.”
Market breadth closed flat as 13 stocks gained relative to the 13 losers. Studio Press Nigeria recorded the highest price gain of 10 per cent to close at N1.98, while International Breweries followed with 7.14 per cent to close at N3.00, per share.
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Jaiz Bank rose 5.36 per cent to close at 59 kobo, while Japaul Oil & Maritime Services and Mutual Benefits Assurance advanced five per cent each, to close at 21 kobo, per share, respectively.
 
On the other hand, Chemical and Allied Products (CAP) led the losers’ chart by 10 per cent to close at N15.30 per share. Royal Exchange followed with 9.68 per cent to close at 28 kobo, and PZ Cussons Nigerian lost 9.41 per cent to close at N3.85, per share.
   
University Press slipped 7.38 per cent to close at N1.13, while GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria shed 6.73 per cent to close at N4.85, per share.
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The total volume traded fell by 33.58 per cent to 180.010 million shares worth N1.536 billion, traded in 3,108 deals. Transactions in the shares of Zenith Bank topped the activity chart with 35.943 million shares valued at N605.18 million. Access Bank followed with 29.079 million shares worth N187.393 million, while Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp) traded 16.489 million shares valued at N10.137 million.
   
UBA traded 12.49 million shares at N83.195 million, and FBN Holdings transacted 10.532 million shares worth N52.607 million.
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