Stock market
Stock Market

By Nkiruka Nnorom

The Nigerian equities market yesterday defied the interest rate hike recording strong gains, driven by Airtel Africa Plc.

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, had raised the interest rate by 150bps to 13 per cent at the end of its meeting on Tuesday.

However, the market rose by 1.2 per cent after the benchmark All Share Index (ASI) appreciated to 52,591.41 points, reversing this week’s losses in the process.

Also, the market capitalisation rose by N346 billion to N28.353 trillion from N28.007 trillion the previous day.

Analysis of the day’s trading showed that sentiments remained weak as FBN Holding (-8.66%) fell by 8.66 per cent, while investors continued to sell off Lafarge Africa Plc, GTCO and International Breweries Plc’s shares, which fell by 5.53 per cent, 2.6 per cent and 6.25 per cent respectively.

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However, a late rally in market heavyweight Airtel Africa Plc (+9.39%) drove the benchmark index higher. As a result, the Year-to-Date (YTD) return rose to 23.12 per cent.

Analysis of the sectoral performance showed that with the exception of the industrial goods sector which rose by 0.4 per cent, all the other sectors fell. The insurance sector led the laggards, falling by 3.7 per cent, followed by the banking sector (-2.1%), consumer goods (-1.3%), and the oil & gas sector (-0.8%).

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