By G9ija

Nigerian equities continued their rally yesterday at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) as increased bargain-hunting across the sectors netted N297 billion gains in five hours of trading.

With nearly four advancers for every decliner, the benchmark index at the stock market indicated average gain of 2.11 per cent yesterday, equivalent to net capital gains of N297 billion. This increased net capital gains in the two trading in October to N377 billion. Average year-to-date return improved to 2.7 per cent.

The All Share Index (ASI)- the common value-based index that tracks share prices at the Exchange crossed to 27,554.49 points from its opening index of 26,985.77 points. Aggregate market value of all quoted equities rose from its opening value of N14.105 trillion to close at N14.402 trillion.

With 36 gainers to 10 losers, all sectoral indices closed positive. The NSE Banking Index led with average gain of 3.4 per cent. The NSE Insurance Index rose by 2.0 per cent. The NSE Oil & Gas Index appreciated by 0.8 per cent while the NSE Consumer Index and NSE Industrial Goods Index inched up by 0.4 per cent each.

Total turnover leapt to 603.95 million shares valued at N7.42 billion in 5,984 deals. Zenith Bank was the most active stock with a turnover of 204.7 million shares. Sterling Bank followed with 55.2 million shares while United Bank for Africa (UBA) placed third with 51.3 million shares.

“We are optimistic about a sustained positive performance in the equities markets, given strong investors sentiment amid discounted valuation of stocks,” Afrinvest Securities stated.

Airtel Africa led the gainers with a gain of N20.20 to close at N400.20. Seplat Petroleum Development Company followed with a gain of N10 to close at N410. MTN Nigeria Communications rose by N5 to close at N130. Presco chalked up N2 to close at N55 while Guinness Nigeria added N1 to close t N15.

On the negative side, Nigerian Breweries and Oando led the decliners with a drop of 20 kobo each to close at N48.80 and N2.09. Union Bank of Nigeria lost 10 kobo to close at N4.90.

UACN Property Development Company dipped by 6 kobo to close at 86 kobo while UAC of Nigeria declined by 5 kobo to close at N6.45 per share.