By Dipo Olowookere
The stock market in Nigeria further closed marginally by 0.07 per cent on Thursday as investors continue to trade cautiously, with a focus now on the release of first-quarter earnings of listed firms.
Some of the big organisations have started to announce dates for their board meetings for the approval of the Q1 2021 earnings and before the end of the month, investors will have a knowledge of how the companies performed in the first three months of the year.
But before then, investors are comfortable watching the equity market from the sidelines and just cherry-pick shares with the prospects of delivering short to mid-term value.
This reflected in the level of activity, which was weak as investors traded 145.3 million stocks worth N1.6 billion in 3,525 deals compared with the 356.5 million equities worth N4.2 billion traded in 6,130 deals at the midweek trading session.
This indicated that the trading volume reduced by 59.23 per cent, the trading value went down by 62.43 per cent and the number of deals declined by 42.50 per cent.
However, at the close of business yesterday, the All-Share Index (ASI) slightly moved up by 25.80 points to 38,799.83 points from 38,774.03 points, while the market capitalisation appreciated by N13 billion to N20.300 trillion from N20.287 trillion.
Investor sentiment was positive as shares of 13 companies closed in green compared with the 12 that ended in the red.
Consolidated Hallmark Insurance was the best-performing stock of the day with a price appreciation of 9.68 per cent to close at 34 kobo.
Japaul gained 9.43 per cent to close at 58 kobo, Oando appreciated by 5.16 per cent to N3.26, AIICO Insurance improved by 5.00 per cent to N1.26, while Zenith Bank gained 3.81 per cent to sell for N21.80.
On the flip side, Royal Exchange closed as the worst-performing equity after its value went down by 7.69 per cent to 36 kobo.
Jaiz Bank depreciated by 6.06 per cent to 62 kobo, Honeywell Flour dropped 5.04 per cent to N1.13, Linkage Assurance depleted by 4.76 per cent to 80 kobo, while Daar Communications declined by 4.76 per cent to 20 kobo.
The most active stock yesterday was FBN Holdings as it sold 21.9 million units valued at N157.2 million, with GTBank trailing for trading 20.5 million units worth N589.2 million.
Zenith Bank exchanged 17.6 million equities for N379.9 million, Access Bank transacted 8.6 million stocks worth N68.9 million, while Japaul sold 7.6 million shares for N4.3 million.
A look at the performance of the showed that the industrial goods closed flat, while the consumer goods counter lost 0.20 per cent, with the banking, insurance and energy sectors closing higher by 2.19 per cent, 0.60 per cent and 0.40 per cent respectively.
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