This Day (Lagos)

Nigeria: Cement Firms Disrupt Stock Market Rally

Losses by cement manufacturing firms Tuesday obstructed the bull run at the stock market as the benchmark Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) closed 0.07 per cent lower at 33,487.32.

The market had begun the week positively on the previous day with the ASI climbing 0.51 per cent. Despite more price gainers and higher volume of trading recorded, a decline in the share price of Dangote Cement Plc, which accounted for 22 per cent of the capitalisation of the NSE, led to negative aggregate close for the market Tuesday.

Dangote Cement shed N3 or 2.1 per cent to close at N141 per share. Lafarge Cement WAPCO Nigeria Plc depreciated by N1.50 to close at N70.50, while Ashaka Cement Plc went down by N0.73 to close lower at N25.30 per share.

But for the losses by these three cement firms and 10 others, the bulls had a field, lifting the prices of 62 equities. Okomu Oil Palm Plc led the price gainers with N1.91 to close at N55.91 per share. Ecobank Transnational Incorporated trailed with a gain of N0.96 to close at N14.76 per share.

Forte Oil Plc, Airline Services and Logistics Plc and UACN Property Development Company Plc garnered N0.79, N0.50, N0.25 and N0.23 respectively among others.

Apart from the ASI that closed in the red zone, other sectoral indicators performed well with the insurance sector leading, by gaining 3.99 per cent . The banking and the oil and gas sectors followed with 1.04 per cent and 0.88 per cent appreciation respectively.

The volume of shares traded rose by 32 per cent as investors exchanged 891.408 million shares valued at N4.689 billion in 8,337 deals up from 683.236 million shares worth N4.348 billion transacted in 7,300 deals the previous day.

Despite the disruption in the bull run, analysts at Meristem Securities Limited remain bullish on the market for the week.

"We expect the market mood to remain positive throughout the week while we foresee a market that will gain above one per cent," they said

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