By Dipo Olowookere
For the second straight trading session, the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited finished in the positive territory, growing by 1.55 per cent on Thursday.
The growth was influenced by the buying pressure on some financial and consumer goods equities trading at relatively cheaper prices at the market currently.
Sterling Holdings, Nigerian Breweries, and PZ Cussons grew by 10.00 per cent to quote at N3.63, N41.80, and N18.15 apiece, as Chellarams rose by 9.96 per cent to N3.09, and Dangote Sugar gained 9.95 per cent to sell at N35.90.
On the flip side, Eterna depreciated by 9.83 per cent to N23.40, John Holt lost 9.82 per cent to N1.47, Thomas Wyatt declined by 9.40 per cent to N1.06, McNichols shed 9.33 per cent to 68 Kobo, and Courteville dropped 9.09 per cent to 60 Kobo.
Investor sentiment was strong during the trading day as there were 51 price gainers and 10 price losers, implying a positive market breadth index.
The energy industry depreciated in the day by 0.57 per cent, as the banking space gained 3.19 per cent, the insurance space grew by 2.48 per cent, the consumer goods index appreciated by 2.24 per cent, and the industrial goods sector improved by 0.01 per cent.
The sterling performance of the stocks drove the All-Share Index (ASI) higher by 995.70 points to 65,263.06 points from 64,267.36 points and raised the market capitalisation by N542 billion to N35.515 trillion from N34.973 trillion.
At the market yesterday, traders transacted 445.3 million stocks worth N5.1 billion in 7,095 deals, in contrast to the 330.8 million stocks valued at N4.3 billion traded in 6,251 deals in the midweek session, representing an improvement in the trading volume, value, and the number of deals by 34.61 per cent, 18.61 per cent, and 13.50 per cent, respectively.
Sterling Bank sold 69.5 million equities worth N238.1 million, FCMB transacted 33.3 million shares valued at N217.8 million, Access Holdings exchanged 33.0 million stocks for N569.0 million, Japaul transacted 28.4 million equities valued at N28.9 million, and Fidelity Bank traded 27.6 million shares worth N219.6 million.