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STOCK MARKET Bulls defy political uncertainty

But analysts see profit taking by tomorrow

By Peter Egwuatu

The Nigerian equity market yesterday consolidated the gains recorded on Tuesday, thus defying the political risk associated with the postponement of the national elections as the bench mark index, Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE All Share Index, went up by 0.64 percent to close at 32,614.06 points.

Analysts have attributed the upsurge in the market to    some of    the positive corporate earnings for the audited financial year 2018 being released to the market as gains in bellwether stocks such as  Nigerian Breweries, NB (+10.0 percent ), Zenith Bank (+1.8 percent ) and Guaranty Trust Bank, GTBank (+0.8 percent) boosted the bench mark index.

Consequently, market capitalisation increased by N77.5 billion to settle at N12.2trillion while Year-to-Date, YtD, gain stood at 3.8 percent.

Nigerian Stock Exchange

Activity level also strengthened as volume and value traded advanced 22.4 percent and 35.6 percent to 442.8 million units and N5.6billion respectively. The top traded stocks by volume were Sterling Bank (105.8million units), GTBank    (37.4million    units) and UBA (33.0million    units), while GTBank (N1.4billion), Nestle Nigeria (N1.2billionn) and Zenith Bank (N434.0million) led the top traded by value.

Performance across sectors was bullish as four of five indices closed in the green.

Profit taking drags down equity market by 0.53%

The Consumer Goods and Insurance indices led gainers, up 1.4 percent  and 1.2 percent  respectively, following buying interests in NB, Dangote Flour, Prestige Assurance and Law Union & Rock Insurance.

The Oil & Gas index and Banking index trailed, up 1.0 percent  and 0.8 percent  respectively on the back of gains in Mobil Oil, Eterna Oil, Zenith Bank   and GTBank.

On the flip side, sell pressures in Dangote Cement (-0.1 percent) led to a 2 bases points (bps) decline in the Industrial Goods index.

Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth strengthened as 26 stocks advanced against 16 decliners. The best performing stocks were NB    (+10.0 percent ), Caverton (+9.3 percent ) and Jaiz Bank (+8.9 percent ), while Gold Insurance    (-9.4 percent ), Custodian & Allied Insurance (-6.9 percent ) and African Prudential    (-4.6 percent ) led laggards.

However, analysts at Afrinvest Research said: “Following two consecutive sessions of positive performance, we do not rule out the possibility of profit taking in subsequent sessions this week.”

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