Stock market begins March with N70bn gain

The nation’s stock market started the month on a positive note on the back of price appreciation recorded by UAC of Nigeria Plc and 11 other firms on Monday.

Investors in the market had recorded a total loss of N1.37tn in February as market capitalisation tumbled below N21tn amid profit-taking.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index closed at 39,799.89 basis points in February from 42,412.66bps at the end of January, while the market capitalisation of equities tumbled to N20.82tn from N22.19tn.

The ASI, however, rose by 0.33 per cent to close at 39,931.63 basis points on Monday, the first trading day in March, while the market capitalisation increased by N70bn to N20.89tn.

A total of 543.99 million shares valued at N1.89tn were traded in 4,673 deals at the end of trading on the floor of the NSE on Monday.

UACN, which led the gainers, saw its share price appreciate by 6.67 per cent to close at N18.

It was followed by AIICO Insurance Plc and Veritas Kapital Assurance Plc, whose share prices rose by 5.22 per cent and five per cent to close at N1.21 and N0.21 respectively.

BUA Cement Plc increased by 3.82 per cent to N74.75 per share while Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc gained 2.73 per cent to close at N1.88 per share.

Twenty-nine stocks saw their share prices decline, with NASCON Allied Industries Plc emerging the biggest loser as it fell by 9.97 per cent to N14.45 per share.

Champion Breweries Plc lost 9.92 per cent to close at N2.27 per share, while PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc shed 9.43 per cent to close at N4.80 per share.

LASACO Assurance Plc dropped by 8.94 per cent to close at N1.12 per share while Royal Exchange Plc depreciated by 7.41 per cent to close at N0.25 per share.

Analysts at Cordros Capital Limited noted that trading in the domestic equities market started the week and month on a bullish note, as a result of bargain buying on Bua Cement, Zenith Bank and UBA stocks.

They said the month-to-date return settled at 0.3 per cent, while the year-to-date loss moderated to 0.8 per cent.

The analysts said, “The total volume of trades increased by 7.3 per cent to 543.99 million units, valued at N1.89bn, and exchanged in 4,673 deals. Wema Bank was the most traded stock by volume at 369.68 million units, while Zenith Bank was the most traded stock by value at N529.07m.

“Analysing by sectors, the industrial goods (+1.5 per cent) and banking (+0.3 per cent) indices recorded gains, while the insurance (-1.1 per cent), consumer goods (-0.5 per cent), and oil and gas (-0.1 per cent) indices closed in the red.”



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