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Stock market appreciates despite tension

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Following gains recorded by most blue-chip stocks, the equity market defied escalating protest to close upbeat yesterday, with the all-share index (ASI) appreciating by 0.03 percent.

ASI increased by 7.51 absolute points, gaining 0.03 percent to close at 28,665.82 points. Similarly, the market capitalisation appreciated by N4 billion to close at N14.983 trillion.

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The uptrend was caused by gains recorded in large and medium capitalised stocks, amongst which are: Nigerian Breweries Plc, Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, International Breweries Plc, Julius Berger, and UAC of Nigeria (UACN) Plc.

Analysts at Afrinvest Limited said: “We are not optimistic of sustained bullish performance in subsequent trading sessions. However, investors may position ahead of third-quarter earnings releases.”

Market sentiment, as measured by the market breadth, was positive, as 23 stocks gained, relative to 17 losers. International Breweries recorded the highest price gain of 9.90 percent, to close at N6.44 per share. United Capital followed with a gain of 8.17 percent to close at N3.84, while Nigerian Breweries rose by 4.67 percent to close at N51.50, per share.

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Flour Mills of Nigeria went up by 4.55 percent to close at N23.00 while UACN appreciated by 4.48 percent to close at N7.00 per share.

On the other hand, Regency Alliance Insurance Company led the losers’ chart by 8.33 percent to close at 22 kobo per share. Cornerstone Insurance followed with a decline of 4.76 percent to close at 60 kobo while PZ Cussons Nigeria shed 4.65 percent to close at N4.10 per share.

Mobil Nigeria lost 4.60 percent to close at N178.30 while Aiico Insurance shed 4.49 percent to close at 85 kobo per share.

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Also, the total volume traded rose by 3.48 percent to 297.312 million shares worth N2.927 billion traded in 4,736 deals.

Transactions in the shares of United Bank for Africa (UBA) topped the activity chart with 72.432 million shares valued at N506.802 million. Zenith Bank followed with 27.159 million shares worth N568.211 million while UACN traded 22.197 million shares valued at N149.440 million.

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