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Bank stocks rally to push ASI 0.5% higher

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At the end of trading today, the domestic bourse performed positively, rising 0.5 percent to 30,878.56 points following gains in banking stocks – GUARANTY (+2.8%), ZENITH (+0.9%) and FIDELITY (+9.6%).

As a result, year to date losses improved to -1.8 percent while market capitalization increased by N52.8 billion to settle at N11.5 trillion. Activity level also strengthened as volume and value traded advanced 53.5 percent and 21.5 percent to 376.3million units and N2.9billion respectively. The top traded stocks by volume were ACCESS (155.8m units), UBA (62.1m units) and FCMB (32.6m units); while the top traded stocks by value were ACCESS (N875.2m), ZENITH (N678.8m) and UBA (N450.8m).

Despite the positive performance of the broader market, 4 of 5 sector indices closed in the red. The Banking index was the lone gainer advancing 1.6 percent following gains in GUARANTY (+2.8%), ZENITH (+0.9%) and FIDELITY (+9.6%). On the flip side, the Insurance index shed 0.2 percent dragged by NEM (-4.4%) and SOVRENINS (-4.6%); while the Oil & Gas index declined by 0.1 percent due to profit taking activities in FORTE (-1.7%). Similarly, the Industrial Goods (-4bps) and Consumer Goods (-1bp) indices closed flattish, albeit negative, as price depreciation in WAPCO (-0.4%), DANGFLOUR (-1.6%) and HONYFLOUR (-1.6%) weighed on the indices.

The value of listed equities –the market capitalisation increased to N11.514trillion as against N11.462 trillion recorded the preceding trading day, representing N52billion increase.  Year-to-Date (YtD) returns currently stands at -1.76percent.

GTBank Plc recorded the highest price gain after its shares advanced from N32.1 to N33, adding 90kobo or 2.80percent. Also, Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc gained 50kobo or 1.06percent, from N47 to N47.5.

Fidelity Bank Plc advanced by 20kobo or 9.57percent, from N2.09 to N2.29. Zenith Bank Plc also recorded 20kobo gain or 0.92percent, from N21.8 to N22; while FBN Holdings Plc gained 10kobo or 1.37percent, from        N7.3 to N7.4.

Forte Oil Plc occupied the topmost position on the losers table after its share price declined from        N30 to N29.5, losing 50kobo or 1.67percent. Also, UAC of Nigeria Plc share price decreased from      N8.9 to N8.5, representing 4kobo or 4.49percent.

NEM Insurance Plc dipped from N2.5 to N2.39, losing 11kobo or 4.40percent. May & Baker Plc declined from N2.45 to N2.39, down by 6kobo or 2.45percent; while Lafarge Africa Plc declined from N12.6 to N12.55, losing 5kobo or 0.40percent.

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