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Stock market begins August with N14bn gain


The stock market witnessed a rebound on Thursday, the first trading day in August, as it gained a meagre N14bn.

The market, which had recorded a year-to-date loss of -11.8 per cent as of the last day in July, saw its capitalisation increase from N13.508tn on Wednesday to N13.522tn on Thursday.

Gains recorded in stocks under the consumer goods index contributed majorly to the positive performance in the market as the index emerged the lone gainer, appreciating by 0.08 per cent.

On the flip side, all other sectors closed on a negative note, with the banking index leading the laggards as it depreciated by 0.96 per cent due to major losses recorded in Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Access Bank Plc and Ecobank Transnational Incorporated.

The insurance index trailed, down by 0.62 per cent on the back of major sell-offs witnessed in Wapic Insurance Plc and Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc.

The oil and gas index depreciated by 0.54 per cent due to the major loss recorded in Forte Oil Plc.

The industrial index shed 0.08 per cent on the back of price depreciation in Lafarge Africa Plc and others.

Analysts at Afrinvest Securities Limited said major gains in MTN Nigeria Communications Plc, Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc and Nascon Allied Industries Plc lifted the benchmark index by 11 basis points to 27,748.46bps, which settled the year-to-date loss at -11.7 per cent.

Activity level was weak as volume and value traded fell by 61.4 per cent and 57.2 per cent to settle at 97.359 million units and N1.769bn, respectively.

The top traded stocks by volume were Zenith Bank Plc (11.6 million units), United Bank for Africa Plc (11.2 million units) and Lafarge Africa (10.2 million units) while Dangote Cement Plc (N505.7m), MTN Nigeria (N397.8m) and GTB (N235.1m) led the top traded stocks by value.

Investor sentiment weakened as market breadth (advance/decline ratio) printed at 0.8x, lower than 1.0x recorded on Wednesday as gains recorded by 12 stocks subdued losses recorded in 16 stocks.

Analysts at Afrinvest said they did not expect the bullish performance to be sustained as investors maintained a risk-off approach towards equities.

The top five gainers, Fidson Healthcare Plc, Berger Paints Plc, Nascon, Honeywell Flour Mills Plc and Unity Bank Plc, saw respective gains of 9.76 per cent, 9.65 per cent, 6.87 per cent, 5.26 per cent and 3.03 per cent.

Respective losses of 10 per cent, 8.62 per cent, 8.14 per cent, 7.14 per cent and 4.76 per cent were recorded in Eterna Plc, NCR Nigeria Plc, Forte Oil, Wapic Insurance and Japaul Oil and Maritime Services Plc as they emerged the top five losers.

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