By Dipo Olowookere
The local stock market witnessed a 1.71 per cent growth on Friday as investors showed buying interests in Airtel Africa, GTCO, Wema Bank and other equities.
It was observed that traders pounced on these and other stocks with the hope that their prices would rise in the coming weeks.
This was reflected in the significant increase in the activity level yesterday as the trading volume, value and number of deals jumped by 64.71 per cent, 242.43 per cent and 4.34 per cent respectively.
At the close of business, investors traded 190.1 million stocks worth N4.1 billion in 3,893 deals compared with the 115.4 million stocks worth N1.2 billion transacted on Thursday in 3,731 deals.
Caverton was the busiest stock during the session as it traded 47.5 million shares valued at N64.6 million, GTCO exchanged 14.8 million equities worth N310.0 million, UBA sold 14.7 million stocks for N109.4 million, Transcorp exchanged 13.1 million shares for N16.3 million, while Access Holdings traded 10.8 million stocks for N99.3 million.
From the analysis of the trading data, the insurance, consumer goods, banking and energy sector closed in the green territory after they respectively grew by 0.51 per cent, 0.33 per cent, 0.10 per cent and 0.06 per cent, while the industrial goods counter lost 1.87 per cent.
Despite the positive outcome, the market breadth and investor sentiment were weak as the bourse ended the session with 20 price gainers and 22 price losers.
On top of the decliners’ table was Fidson as its price shed 9.95 per cent to settle at N9.41, NPF Microfinance Bank also dropped 9,95 per cent to trade at N8.60, Linkage Assurance depreciated by 8.62 per cent to 53 Kobo, Courteville declined by 7.84 per cent to 47 Kobo, while Honeywell Flour declined by 7.41 per cent to trade at N2.75.
Conversely, the duo of Wema Bank and Airtel Africa appreciated by 10.00 per cent each to close at N3.74 and N1905.40 respectively. UPDC improved by 8.62 per cent to N1.26, Champion Breweries rose by 8.45 per cent to N3.85, while Prestige Assurance gained 7.89 per cent to finish at 41 Kobo.
At the close of trades, the All-Share Index (ASI) increased by 876.11 points to 52,215.12 points from 51,339.01 points, while the market capitalisation went up by N473 billion to N28.158 trillion from N27.685 trillion.