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Stocks rise to 8-week high as oil prices gain 1.5 %

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COVID-19: FG, oil companies 've abandoned us, Niger Delta group cries outBy Peter Egwuatu

Nigerian stocks climbed eight-week high on Wednesday, lifted by gains in shares of energy companies after global oil prices rallied.

Recovering from a two consecutive days of losses this week, the main share index rose 1.04% to 24,141.48 points on Wednesday. But the index of top five oil and gas companies climbed 5.24%.

Consequently, investors gained N134.5 billion as market capitalisation advanced to N13.1trillion while Year-to-Date, YtD, loss moderated to -8.5%. Activity level was mixed as volume traded fell 0.8% to 204.9million units while value traded rose 54.8% to N3.8billion.

READ ALSO: Credit to economy rises 10% to N39trn in 5mths

Meanwhile, Brent crude was up 68 cents, or 1.5%, at $45.18 a barrel by 1350 GMT, after falling around 1% on Tuesday.

Seplat, which is also listed in London Stock Exchange, rose by 10%, the maximum allowed on the Lagos bourse. Energy firm Oando and Total also gained more than 1%.

Oil’s rally on Wednesday followed an industry report showing U.S. crude inventories last week fell more than analysts had expected, bolstering expectations fuel demand in the world’s biggest economy can weather the COVID-19 pandemic.

Besides, however, the earnings season in Nigerian stock market kicked off late last month with investors watching results closely to determine the extent of the damage inflicted by the pandemic on businesses in the first half of the year.

A total of 18 firms advanced while 11 declined and more than 100 others recorded no trades.

Other top gainers were Cadbury and Airtel Africa, the third-biggest listed firm, which rose more than 9%.

Vanguard

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