Insurance stocks lift NSE capitalisation by N50bn

Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) reversed two days losses to close upbeat, yesterday, as investors renewed interest in insurance stocks.

At the close of trading, market capitalisation appreciated by N50 billion to close at N21.525 trillion. The All-Share Index (ASI) also grew by 96.09 absolute points, representing an increase of 0.23 per cent to close at 41,147.72 points.  

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The market gain was driven by price appreciation in large and medium capitalised stocks such as Lafarge Africa, Ardova Plc, BOC Gases, Northern Nigeria Flour Mills (NNFM), and Flour Mills of Nigeria.
   
Analysts at Afrinvest Limited said: “We expect the equities market to sustain this bullish performance given the positive investor sentiment.”
 
Analysts at Vetiva Dealing & Brokerage said: “The equity market witnessed a positive sentiment in today’s session, amid bargain hunting activities across sectors. As a result, all sectors closed the session up (led by the Insurance sector which advanced by 2.52 per cent), save for the banking sector, which declined by 0.23 per cent.
 
“Barring any negative event capable of dampening investors’ confidence, we expect today’s positive performance to filter into tomorrow’s session.”
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Market sentiment, as measured by market breadth, was positive, as 55 stocks gained, relative to 16 losers. Deap Capital Management & Trust, Mutual Benefits Assurance, NNFM, Niger Insurance, Royal Exchange and Sovereign Trust Insurance recorded the highest price gain of 10 per cent each, to close at 22 kobo, 55 kobo, N8.80, 33 kobo, 44 kobo and 33 kobo.
 
Livestock Feeds and BOC Gases followed with a gain of 9.80 per cent each, to close at N2.80 and N15.12, respectively, while Consolidated Hallmark Insurance and Linkage Assurance rose by 9.76 per cent each, to close at 45 kobo and 90 kobo.
 
On the other hand, SUNU Assurances and AXA Mansard Insurance led the losers’ chart by 10 per cent each, to close at 90 kobo and N1.53, respectively, while Japaul Gold and Ventures followed with a decline of 9.38 per cent, to close at N1.16 kobo.
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Afromedia Plc shed 9.09 per cent to close at 20 kobo while Omatek Ventures lost 8.70 per cent to close at 21 kobo.
   
The total volume of trades rose by 23.7 per cent to 649.68 million units, valued at N4.612 billion, and exchanged in 6,296 deals.
 
Transactions in the shares of Mutual Benefits Assurance topped the activity chart with 52.106 million shares valued at N28.653 million. Transnational Corporation of Nigeria followed with 51.654 million shares worth N66.117 million, while Sterling Bank traded 48.119 million shares valued at N94.297 million.
 
Lafarge Africa traded 34.670 million shares valued at N900.092 million, while UACN Property Development Company transacted 30.727 million shares worth N22.983 million.

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