By Dipo Olowookere
The local stock market appreciated by 0.17 per cent on Friday on the back of sustained bargain-hunting in the key sectors of the bourse.
It was observed that investors showed interest in the banking, insurance and consumer goods counters as they rose by 1.09 per cent, 0.56 per cent, and 0.08 per cent, respectively.
Traders cherry-picked stocks in the segments and hope that their prices would rise next week as the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited prepares for Christmas break.
Business Post reports that in the midst of the buying pressure, some investors sold off some shares, especially in the energy sector, and led to the 0.11 per cent loss reported in the space yesterday. The industrial goods sector, on its part, closed flat.
When the exchange closed for the day, the All-Share Index (ASI) was up by 83.27 points to 49,316.29 points from 49,233.02 points, while the market capitalisation grew by N46 billion to N26.861 trillion from N26.815 trillion.
Zenith Bank was the busiest equity during the session as it sold 14.1 million units, followed by GTCO, which exchanged 13.6 million units. Ecobank traded 11.2 million units, UBA transacted 7.7 million units, and Fidelity Bank traded 4.7 million units.
At the close of trades, a total of 103.7 million shares worth N2.0 billion exchanged hands in 3,280 deals compared with the 222.8 million shares worth N2.1 billion transacted in 2,756 deals a day earlier, representing an improvement in the number of deals by 19.01 per cent, a decline in the trading volume by 53.46 per cent, and a fall in the trading value by 4.76 per cent.
On the price movement chart, the market breadth was positive as investor sentiment was strong, with 17 price gainers and 11 price losers.
UPDC topped the risers’ log after it gained 10.00 per cent to quote at 99 Kobo, as PZ Cussons rose by 9.73 per cent to N12.40. Thomas Wyatt improved by 9.62 per cent to 57 Kobo, Champion Breweries appreciated by 9.33 per cent to N4.10, and Neimeth grew by 9.02 per cent to N1.45.
Conversely, Academy Press topped the decliners’ group after it fell by 9.70 per cent to N1.21, as Honeywell Flour declined by 3.64 per cent to N2.12. FTN Cocoa depreciated by 3.13 per cent to 31 Kobo, FCMB fell by 2.86 per cent to N3.40, and UAC Nigeria dropped 1.43 per cent to N10.35.