The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) Wednesday increased the number of market-making stocks to 43 with the addition of Flour Mill Plc, Unilever Nigeria Plc, Royal Exchange Plc and Wema Bank Plc.
The exchange explained that the inclusion of the stocks from consumer goods and financial Services sectors would become effective today, adding that it was in line with the planned phased introducing of stocks to the programme from the baskets allocated to the 10 market makers on the Nigerian bourse.
Meanwhile, the price rally at the stock market continued for the second day yesterday as blue-chip stocks led by fast moving consumer goods (FCMG) bolstered the NSE All-Share Index by 0.77 per cent to 31,815.45.
The market had wobbled on Monday having opened with a decline of 0.34 per cent as profit-taking and cautious trading by some investors characterised the first trading session of the week.
However, high expectations of corporate profits for the 2012 financial year whetted investors' appetite and led to a rebound with a growth of 0.31 per cent the previous day. For instance, the board of directors of Zenith Bank Plc had informed the NSE it would meet yesterday to consider its 2012 financial results with dividends declaration on the agenda.
The positive market sentiments continued yesterday with the ASI chalking up 0.77 per cent to close at 31,815.45, bringing the year-to-date growth of the benchmark gauge to 13.31 per cent. Similarly, the market capitalisation added N78 billion to close at N10.179 trillion.
FCMG firms led by Nestle Nigeria Plc topped the 40 advancers' chart compared with 25 laggards. Nestle garnered N49.85 to close at N840.10 per share.
Nestle, which is the highest priced equity on the Nigerian bourse, has appreciated by 20 per cent in the first month of this year and has recorded year-on-on year growth of 95 per cent.
Also, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc; Nigerian Breweries Plc; Flour Mills of Nigeria and PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc garnered N6.00, N4.10, N4.05 and N1.90 respectively.