AFTER four consecutive negative trading, Nigerian equities returned to the positive side yesterday as increased bargain-hunting overshadowed profit-taking transactions on many stocks.

Benchmark indices at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) showed a marginal increase of 0.02 per cent, equivalent to net capital gain of N3 billion, the first positive closing in five sessions. With this, the average month-to-date and year-to-date returns inched up to 5.6 per cent.

The All Share Index (ASI)-the value-based common index that tracks all share prices at the NSE, rose by 0.02 per cent to close at 28,344.04 points. Aggregate market value of all quoted equities rose from N14.812 trillion to close at N14.815 trillion.

Most sectoral indices closed positive, underlying the positive sentiments across many sectors.The NSE Consumer Goods Index rose by 0.9 per cent. The NSE Insurance Index appreciated by 0.3 per cent while the NSE Oil & Gas Index inched up by 0.1 per cent. On the negative side, the NSE Banking Index declined by 1.2 per cent while the NSE Industrial Goods Index closed flat.

The uptrend was impacted by gains recorded in large and medium capitalised stocks such as Stanbic IBTC Holdings, Nigerian Breweries, International Breweries, Eterna and Cadbury Nigeria.

There were 18 gainers to 15 losers. Eterna recorded the highest price gain of 9.77 per cent to close at N4.38. International Breweries followed with a gain 9.56 per cent to close at N4.70 per share.

Regency Alliance Insurance Company rose by 9.09 per cent to close at 24 kobo. Chams and Courteville Business Solutions appreciated by 5.0 per cent each to close at 21 kobo each.

On the negative side, E-Tranzact International Plc led the losers’ chart by 9.79 per cent to close at N2.12 per share. Royal Exchange followed with a decline of 7.41 per cent to close at 25 kobo. Portland Paints and Products Nigeria lost 6.98 per cent to close at N2.00 each. Custodian Investment lost 4.76 per cent to close at N5.00 while Africa Prudential dropped by 3.75 per cent to close at N5.39.

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