The Nigerian equities market extended gains Wednesday as the all-share index rose 0.3 percent to settle at 37,059.21 points on account of upticks in NIGERIAN BREWERIES (+1.1%) and banking stocks – GUARANTY (+0.2%), ZENITH (+2.0%), UBA (+1.3%) and ACCESS (+4.0%).
Consequently, market year-to-date gain improved to 37.9 percent just as market capitalization increased by N3.0 billion to close at N12.8 trillion. Also, activity level improved as volume and value traded climbed 8.2 percent and 50.6 percent to 264.3 million units and N5.5 billion respectively.
Sector performance was mixed as only two of five indices trended northwards.
The banking sector index led sector gainers, up 1.0 percent as a result of gains in GUARANTY (+0.2%), ZENITH (+2.0%), UBA (+1.3%) and ACCESS (+4.0%).
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The consumer goods index followed, closing 0.3 percent higher due to appreciation in NIGERIAN BREWERIES (+1.1%) and DANGSUGAR (+1.3%).
On the flip side, losses in WAPCO (-2.6%) dragged the industrial goods index 1.1 percent lower, while the insurance (-1.2%) and the oil & gas (-0.8%) indices trended southwards due to declines in MANSARD (-4.6%) and TOTAL (-4.8%) respectively.
Investor sentiment, as measured by market breadth, stood flat at 0.9x (from 0.9x recorded Tuesday) consequent on 17 advancers against 20 decliners.
The best performers were CAVERTON (+9.5%), UCAP (+5.0%) LIVESTOCK (+4.2%), while the worst performers were SKYE (-7.5%), 7UP (-5.0%) and TOTAL (-4.8%).
Wednesday trade also witnessed earnings release of tier-1 bank, ACCESS. The bank released its 2017 half-year report card, which showed gross earnings and profit after tax (PAT) rising 42.0 percent and 17.3 percent, year-on-year to N246.6 billion and N39.5 billion respectively.
In line with peers, the bank proposed an interim dividend of N0.25.
Wednesday’s performance confirms analysts’ call that market would return to positive region from negative in the past weeks as trends in the market present opportunities for investors to source for bargain in stocks, a situation they expect would be sustained in trading sessions ahead.