Banking stocks continued to be the toast of investors at the equities market as sustained bargain hunting raised the sector’s index by almost 2 percent Monday and pushed the All Share Index 0.8 percent northward in an extension of gains from the previous week.
Specifically, price appreciation in Zenith Bank (+2.3%), UBA (+4.6%) and Access (+5.3%) led the ASI to a positive close of 31,781.87 points, improving year-to-date returns to 1.1 percent while market capitalisation increased by N94.0 billion to settle at N11.9 trillion.
Activity level however weakened as average volume and value traded declined by 24.0 percent and 53.7 percent respectively to 550.2 million units and N5.6 billion respectively.
In terms of volume, the top traded stocks for the day were Access Bank (101.6m units), UBA (69.9m units) and Diamond (52.6m units) while the top traded stocks by value were Zenith (N1.2bn), Guaranty Trust Bank (N1.1bn) and Dangote Cement (N744.2m).
Across sectors, performance was bullish as all indices closed in the green. The Banking index gained the most, up 1.9 percent as Zenith (+2.3%), UBA (+4.6%) and Access (+5.3%) enjoyed buying interest.
The insurance index trailed, up 1.2 percent on the back of sustained gains in Wapic Insurance (+4.8%) and AIICO Insurance (+6.9%). Similarly, the Oil & Gas and Consumer Goods indices inched northwards, up 0.6 percent and 0.4 percent respectively due to upticks in Oando (+10.0%), Seplat (+0.9%), Unilever (+5.4%) and Dangote Four (+9.5%).
In line with market performance, the industrial index reversed losses recorded the previous week, adding 0.3 percent following price appreciation in Betaglass (+9.6%).
Investor sentiments remained strongly positive as 41 stocks advanced against 10 stocks that declined. The top performing stocks for the day were Oando (+10.0%), Lasaco Insurance (+10.0%) and Cadbury (10.0%). On the other hand CI Leasing (-10.0%), Medview Airlines (-8.1%) and Total (-7.2%) emerged the least performing stocks for the day in terms of share price growth.
Although the domestic bourse posted a positive performance, analysts at Afrinvest believe this may be short-lived as Monday’s slowdown in gains indicates profit-taking activities may begin in subsequent sessions.