By Peter Egwuatu
The equities market on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE on Thursday turned positive, as the All Share Index, ASI inched up 0.11 percent to close at 32,417.82 points, following interest across major consumer goods counters.
As a result, the Month-to-Date, MtD and Year-to-Date, YtD losses moderated to -1.06 percent and -15.23 percent, respectively.
The Consumer Goods (+0.39 percent) Index was the sole gainer among major sectoral Indices, owing to investor interest in Nestle Nigeria (+0.68 percent) and Flourmill (+7.60 percent) shares.
On the flip side, the Insurance (-0.88 percent), Oil & Gas (-0.61 percent), Banking (-0.59 percent), and Industrial Goods (-0.03 percent) Indices closed in the red, following selloffs in the shares of Continental Insurance (-9.40 percent), Forte Oil, FO (-8.37 percent), UBA (-1.83 percent), and FIRST Aluminium (-5.71 percent) respectively.
Analysts at Cordors Capital said: “The absence of a positive catalyst and political concerns ahead of the 2019 election guide our conservative outlook for equities in the short-to-medium term. However, stable macroeconomic fundamentals remain supportive of recovery in the long term.
Top gainers and losers
Niger Insurance was the best performing stock .The stock closed at N0.33, up 10 percent. Prestige Assurance was next with an 8.33 percent gain to close at N0.52. Flour Mills of Nigeria closed at N21.95, up 7.60 percent
On losers side, The Initiates Plc was the worst performing .The stock closed at N0.65, down by 9.68 percent. Continental Reinsurance closed at N1.35, down by 9.40 percent. McNichols Plc closed at N0.59, down by 9.23 percent.
Top Trades by volume
The top traded stocks were from the banking sector. Guaranty Trust Bank was the most actively traded stock recording 48.7 million shares valued at N1.7 billion in 237 deals.
Fidelity Bank was next with 13.8 million shares valued at N26.3 million in 136 deals. FCMB Plc rounds up the top three most traded with 11.1 million shares valued at N18.7 million traded in 133 deals.