By Dipo Olowookere
The news of the slashing of the benchmark interest rate in the country by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to 11.50 per cent from 12.50 per cent on Tuesday excited investors at the stock market on Wednesday.
On the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) yesterday, the level of activity improved significantly and this increased the number of price gainers as the traders started mopping some stocks trading at low prices.
A total of 414.2 million stocks worth N6.3 billion were traded in the midweek session in 3,793 deals in contrast to the previous day’s 262.0 million equities worth N4.4 billion transacted in 3,254 deals, representing a rise in the trading volume, value and number of deals by 58.05 per cent, 42.74 per cent and 16.56 per cent respectively.
At the close of transactions, the equity market appreciated by 0.50 per cent, reducing the year-to-date loss to 3.95 per cent.
Also, the All-Share Index (ASI) increased by 128.12 points to 25,783.02 points from 25,654.90 points, while the market capitalisation grew by N67 billion to N13.475 trillion from N13.408 trillion.
In the same vein, all the five major sub-sectors of the market gained on Wednesday, with the energy sector closing as the best performer, rising by 2.02 per cent.
The consumer goods sector appreciated by 1.35 per cent, the insurance counter rose by 1.09 per cent, the banking space grew by 0.65 per cent, while the industrial goods index gained 0.09 per cent.
Business Post reports that the highest price gainer yesterday was Seplat, which added N15 to its share value to settle at N400 per share and was followed by Nigerian Breweries, which gained N1.50 to finish at N43.50 per unit.
MTN Nigeria garnered 90 kobo to close at N123.90 per share, Mobil Oil improved by 60 kobo to sell for N193.10 per share, while Flour Mills increased its share price by 35 kobo to end at N20 per unit.
The worst-performing stock on Wednesday was Eterna, which lost 18 kobo to close at N2.50 per share and was trailed by BOC Gas after losing 11 kobo to quote at N4.25 per unit.
Africa Prudential depreciated by 10 kobo to sell for N4.35 each, NPF Microfinance Bank lost 8 kobo to trade at N1.22 per share, while Custodian Investment went down by 5 kobo to N4.80 per unit.
The most active stock of the session was Sterling Bank as it traded 85.2 million units worth N98.0 million and was closely followed by FBN Holdings, which transacted 82.7 million shares worth N413.7 million.
Access Bank traded 58.2 million equities valued at N366.7 million, Zenith Bank exchanged 28.5 million stocks worth N480.2 million, while MTN Nigeria traded 25.7 million shares for N3.1 billion.
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