The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) appears to be working with a mind of its owns, with activities on the floor of the market unaffected by the strike action declared by a faction of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to protest last week’s removal of fuel subsidy and hike in fuel price.
The strike, which commenced nationwide following the breakdown in negotiations with government over labour’s demands for a reversal of the new fuel price of N145 per litre and electricity tariff, hardly impacted the market index, appreciating by about 0.41 per cent.
The NSE All-Share Index, ASI rose by over 108.35 points, or 0.41 per cent, to close at 26,763.83, compared with 26,655.48 recorded on Tuesday.
Also, the market capitalisation rose by N20 billion to close at N9.192 trillion, compared with N9.172 trillion posted on Tuesday.
Managing Director, APT Securities and Funds Ltd., Garba Kurfi, said for the first time in history, the market recorded positive growth during a nationwide strike.
Mr. Kurfi said the strike failed on its first day, as most Nigerians were not in support, since they had been buying fuel at a higher price against the official retail price of N86.50 per litre.
He stated that people were in support of the price adjustment, because it would bring about competition and availability of the product, adding that most Nigerians were in support of the present administration because of its fight against corruption.
A review of the price movement chart revealed that Nigerian Breweries led the gainers’ table, increasing by N2.48 to close at N127.50 per share.
Zenith Bank followed with a gain of 58k to close at N15.02, while Guaranty Trust Bank increased by 51k to close at N19.54 per share.
Presco gained 49k to close at N35.51, while Dangote Sugar Refinery appreciated by 20k to close at N6.20 per share.
On the other hand, 7UP led the losers’ table, shedding N4 to close at N141 per share.
Flour Mills trailed with a loss of N1.17 to close at N22.33, while Total lost N1 to close at N169 per share.
Unilever declined by 79k to close at N32.01, while Guinness shed 75k to close at N99 per share.
In the banking sector, Wema Bank was the most active, accounting for 380.53 million shares worth N275.53 million, followed by Diamond Bank with an exchange of 60.25 million shares valued at N102.77 million.
Zenith Bank sold 45.08 million shares valued at N671.08 million and United Bank for Africa transacted 23.16 million shares worth N93.47 million.
In all, the volume of shares traded closed higher with a total of 670.80 million shares valued at N2.06 million exchanged in 3,976 deals against the 396.03 million shares worth N2.66 billion achieved in 5,513 deals on Tuesday.
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