Nigerian stocks added 0.38 per cent or N80.4 billion on Wednesday to touch their peak in more than eight months ahead of the third quarter earnings season expected to begin any moment soon.

Equities are regaining their rhythm thanks to a stronger investment climate that has seen the market swing back to positive year-to-date return since last Tuesday.

That optimism is built on an unabating rush for the shares of FBN Holdings, one of the four Nigerian banks Bloomberg ranked among five cheapest stocks in Africa at the end of August. The stock has dominated trade in all trading sessions but two since October’s start and has returned 32.3 per cent between then and now.

Wednesday’s advance rested on the performances of FBN Holdings, GTCO, UBA, Access and Champion Breweries, with a couple of mid-cap stocks providing further support.

Market breadth, often used to determine the level of investors’ sentiment towards trade, was positive, with 29 gainers emerging, compared to 14 laggards.

“We expect the positive performance to be sustained as investors seek out bargains and continued positioning for Q3 earnings season in the equity market,” said analysts at investment bank United Capital in a note issued on Monday and seen PREMIUM TIMES.

The all-share index expanded 154.23 basis points to 41,051.19, while market capitalisation rose to N21.4 trillion at the end of trade.

Year to date, the index is up by 1.94 per cent.

TOP FIVE GAINERS

Transcorp Hotels led gainers, appreciating by 9.94 per cent to close at N5.97. Champion Breweries added 9.88 per cent to end today’s trade at N2.78. Consolidated Hallmark went up by 9.09 per cent to N0.60. Okomu Oil rose to N125, notching up 8.23 per cent in the process. Japaul Gold completed the top 5, climbing by 6.67 per cent to N0.48.

TOP FIVE LOSERS

FTN Cocoa was the worst performing stock, declining by 8 per cent to close at N0.46. ABC Transport fell to N0.32, losing 5.88 per cent. Regal Insurance dipped to N0.38, recording 5 per cent depreciation. Ikeja Hotel shed 4.55 per cent to close at N1.05. Universal Insurance closed at N0.21, going down by 4.55 per cent.

TOP 5 TRADES

In all, 446.2 million shares estimated at N4.5 billion were traded in 4,704 deals.

FBN Holdings was the most active stock with 148.4 million units of its shares worth N1.7 billion traded in 741 deals. Universal Insurance transacted 46.2 million shares priced at N9.7 million in 30 trades. ETI traded 42.6 million shares estimated at N316.1 million in 193 transactions. GTCO traded 32.6 million shares valued at N923 million in 253 deals. Fidelity had 19.7 million shares valued at N53.2 million traded in 173 deals.


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