Nigerian stocks rise to 8-week as oil prices gain

Trading at the Nigerian Stock Market stocks
Trading at the Nigerian Stock Market (NSE)

Nigerian stocks climbed to an eight-week high on Wednesday lifted by gains in shares of energy companies after global oil prices rallied.

Recovering after two days of losses, the main share index rose 1.04% to 24,141.48 points on Wednesday. The index of Nigeria’s top five oil and gas companies climbed 5.24%.

Brent crude was up 68 cents, or 1.5%, at $45.18 a barrel by 1350 GMT, after falling around 1% on Tuesday.

Seplat, which is also listed in London, rose by 10% – the maximum allowed on the Lagos bourse. Energy firm Oando and Total each rose more than 1%.

Oil’s rally on Wednesday followed an industry report showing US crude inventories last week fell more than analysts had expected, bolstering expectations fuel demand in the world’s biggest economy can weather the COVID-19 pandemic.

The earnings season in Nigeria kicked off last month with investors watching results closely to determine the extent of the damage inflicted by the pandemic on businesses.

A total of 18 firms advanced while 11 declined and more than 100 others recorded no trades.

Other top gainers were Cadbury and Airtel Africa, the third-biggest listed firm, which rose more than 9%.