The bulls regained control of the equities market last Friday lifting the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) by 0.33 per cent to close at 28,538.05.
Having recorded a growth of 35.4 per cent in 2012, the market had opened in 2013 on a positive note with an appreciation of 1.5 per cent last Wednesday. However, the positive trend was distorted on Thursday when highly capitalised Dangote Cement Plc depreciated in value and led to a decline of 0.21 per cent in ASI.
But the market bounced back last Friday with an appreciation of 0.33 per cent. The capitalisation of equities added N30 billion to close at N9.121 trillion. A total of 30 equities added value compared with 15 that shed value.
Presco Plc led the price gainers with N1.88 to close at N20.72 per share, trailed by Nestle Nigeria Plc with a gain of N1.10 to be at N701.10 per share. FBN Holdings Plc chalked up N0.60 just as Forte Oil Plc and Diamond Bank Plc garnered N0.38 and N0.32 in that order.
Conversely, Guinness Nigeria Plc led the price losers with N3.75 to close at N273.00 per share. Julius Berger Nigeria Plc trailed with a loss of N1.17 to be at N33.48. Nigerian Breweries Plc and National Salt Company of Nigeria Plc shed N1.15 and N0.20 to close at N149.06 and N8.20 respectively.
Some market operators and analysts are optimistic that the growth recorded last year would continue in the market this year.
For instance, analysts at Meristem Securities Limited, one of the top 10 stockbrokers that accounted for the top trades on the Nigerian bourse in 2012, said: "We remain bullish on our expectation for the Nigerian equities market in 2013 as we see listed companies churning out attractive results."
Also, Mr. Tola Odukoya of Dunn Lorem Meriffied, said: "I remain optimistic about the market and I equally expect the performance recorded in 2012 will be consolidated in this year. I expect that the key drivers will remain the usual banking, consumers' goods and cement sectors with a few surprises from other sectors."