The bulls continued their run on the Nigerian bourse Wednesday, lifting market capitalisation on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) to a new high of N16.08 trillion, just as the All-Share Index rose by 1.89 per cent to close at a new peak of 44,885 points.
With the new records reached Wednesday, the market has effectively grown by 17.4 per cent in 12 trading days of the year.
During Wednesday’s trade, the market recorded 44 price gainers and 19 price losers, while the volume and value of trading advanced by 51.20 per cent and 63.96 per cent, respectively.
Commenting on the market’s performance Wednesday, analysts at Meristem Securities Limited said: “The Nigerian bourse continues to record increased investor confidence as the market advanced further by 1.89 per cent.
“We note that activities today were skewed towards counters below N5.00, as they were 30 out of the 44 gainers. However, we posit that the market’s impressive performance was as a result of the N13.00 gain on Dangote Cement Plc, as the market would have advanced by just 0.67 per cent ex-Dangote Cement.”
Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc led the price gainers with 10.17 per cent, closely followed by Diamond Bank Plc with 10.1 per cent, while Sterling Bank Plc appreciated by 10 per cent. Transcorp Plc chalked up 9.9 per cent, just as Fidelity Bank Plc and FCMB Group Plc garnered 9.7 per cent apiece.
Conversely, NASCON Allied Industries Plc led the price losers, shedding 4.9 per cent, trailed by Cadbury Nigeria Plc with 4.9 per cent, University Press Plc declined by 4.9 per cent, while Newrest ASL Plc closed 4.8 per cent lower.
The market, which recovered from a three-year decline to post a growth of 42.3 per cent last year, has remained upbeat since the beginning of the year.
Reviewing the performance of the market in 2017 on Tuesday, chief executive officer of the NSE, Mr. Oscar Onyema, had attributed the performance to the gradual economic recovery in the country propelled by higher oil prices, rising domestic output, and stronger foreign reserves.
These factors, he said, had engendered greater foreign portfolio investor confidence in the economy and the stock market.
He added that the improvement in the ease of doing business as well as stability in foreign exchange (FX) market had also propelled market growth.
Looking ahead, the NSE boss said the outlook for the Nigerian capital market was encouraging.
“Indeed, to some extent, political activities and currency movements will have an effect on the market, but we expect that such impact will be short lived and the performance of the underlying business activities will ultimately determine market performance,” he said.