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NSE halts losing streak, as Flourmills, others lift index by N7b

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Investors’ renewed interest in some bluechip stocks especially Flourmills, and Unity Bank, halted the negative sentiments that had gripped the equities sector of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), in the last few days, as market capitalisation inched up marginally by N7 billion.
   
Yesterday, the All -Share Index (ASI) gained 16.92 absolute points, representing a gain of 0.06 per cent to close at 29,287.87 points. Similarly, the market capitalisation rose by N7 billion to close at N12.909 trillion.
   
The upturn was significantly impacted by gains recorded in some bellwether stocks, amongst which were; Flour Mills Nigeria, NASCON Allied Industries, MTN Nigeria, Cadbury Nigeria, and Red Star Express.
   
Analysts at Afrinvest Limited, said: “Notwithstanding market performance yesterday, we maintain a bearish outlook on the equities market. However, we expect the Airtel Africa listing on the local bourse to drive activity level later in the week.”
   
Market breadth was positive, with 17 gainers versus 14 losers. Flour Mills recorded the highest price gain of 10 per cent to close at N16.50 per share. Unity Bank followed with 9.68 per cent to close at 68 kobo, while Red Star Express rose 9.09 per cent to close at N5.40, per share.
   
Wema Bank gained 8.20 per cent to close at 66 kobo, and Wapic Insurance 7.50 per cent to close at 43 kobo, per share.
On the other hand, Forte Oil led the losers’ chart with 10 per cent to close at N24.30 per share. GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria followed with 9.80 per cent to close at N9.20, while Total Nigeria lost 5.41 per cent to close at N140, per share.Sovereign Trust Insurance fell 4.76 per cent to close at 20 kobo, and FCMB Group 1.90 per cent to close at N1.55, per share.
   
However, total volume traded shed 2,752 per cent to 216.29 million shares, worth N2.70 billion, traded in 3,206 deals. Transactions in the shares of Wapic Insurance topped the activity chart with 84.90 million shares valued at N33.98 million. FBN Holdings followed with 16.21 million shares worth N100.53 million, while Zenith Bank traded 14.71 million shares at N282.27 million.  Mutual Benefits Assurance traded 14.22 million shares valued at N2.85 million, and United Bank for Africa (UBA) sold 13.51 million shares worth N81.91 million.


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