Stock market begins September with N19bn gain

The equities market opened trading in September on a positive note as investors gained N19bn.

Analysts at Afrinvest Securities Limited said trading activities resumed the week with bargain hunting in Nestlé Nigeria Plc, Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc and UBA Group Plc.

The All Share Index gained 0.14 per cent to settle at 27,565.14 basis points while the year-to-date loss eased to -12.3 per cent.

The market capitalisation of equities listed on the NSE increased from N13.391tn on Friday last week to N13.410tn on Monday.

Activity level declined as volume and value traded fell by 10.6 per cent and 14 per cent to 111.515 million units and N1.561bn, respectively.

Zenith Bank Plc (16.1 million units), UBA Group Plc (14 million units) and FBN Holdings Plc (13.6 million units) were the top traded stocks by volume while the top traded stocks by value were Zenith Bank (N283.9m), Nigerian Breweries Plc (N256.3m) and MTN Nigeria Plc (N252.1m).

Performance across sectors was largely bullish as almost all sectors closed positively.

The consumer goods index led the gainers chart, up by 3.12 per cent due to buying interest in Nestlé, GlaxoSmithKline Nigeria Plc and Unilever Nigeria Plc.

The industrial goods and banking indices trailed, increasing by 1.45 per cent and 0.94 per cent, respectively, buoyed by price appreciation in Cement Company of Northern Nigeria, Lafarge Africa Plc, Zenith Bank and UBA.

The insurance and oil and gas indices appreciated by 0.44 per cent and 0.18 per cent, respectively, on the back of bargain hunting activities in Cornerstone Insurance Plc, Continental Reinsurance Plc and Oando Plc.

Investor sentiment strengthened to 1.3x points from 1.2x recorded on Friday as 22 stocks appreciated against 17 that declined.

The top gainers were Cement Company of Northern Nigeria, Cornerstone Insurance, UBA, Nestle and GSK, with respective gains of 9.78 per cent, 9.52 per cent, 5.98 per cent, 5.94 per cent and 3.47 per cent.

The top losers were UACN Plc, Champion Breweries Plc, Africa Prudential Plc, Chams Plc and University Press Plc, which saw their share prices shed 10 per cent, 9.80 per cent, 9.25 per cent, 7.69 per cent and 7.38 per cent.

Analysts at Afrinvest said despite the positive performance, they expected the bearish run in the equities market to resurface as the weak macroeconomic environment continued to cast a shadow on investor sentiment.