By Charles Abuede
Bears lost steam on Wednesday as the Nigerian equities market went bullish after two consecutive days of losses, in a rebound that saw the NSE All-Share Index rise 23 basis points to close at 41,147.72 points due to buying interest in WAPCO (Lafarge) (+8.2%), UBA (+2.3%), and Transnational Corporation (+9.4%).
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As a result, the market year to date return rose to 2.2 per cent while market capitalisation increased by N50.3 billion to settle at N21.5 trillion.
Activity level was mixed as volume traded rose 23.7% to 649.6 million units while value traded fell 13.6% to N4.6 billion. The most traded stocks by volume were Mutual Benefits (52.1 million units), Transnational Corporation (51.7 million units), and Sterling Bank (48.1 million units) while WAPCO (Lafarge) (N900.1 million), GTBank (N803.6 million), and Dangote Cement (N410.6 million) topped by value.
Performance across sectors was largely bullish as 5 of 6 indices closed in the green save the banking index, which lost 0.2 per cent due to sell-offs in GTBank (-2.1%).
Conversely, the insurance and industrial goods indices rose 2.5 per cent and 0.5 per cent respectively on the back of gains in Aiico Insurance (+9.7%), NEM Insurance (+6.3%) and WAPCO (Lafarge) (+8.2%). Similarly, the oil & gas and consumer goods indices gained 0.4 per cent and 0.2 per cent respectively due to buying interest in Ardova Plc (+9.7%), Flour Mills (+1.6%) and PZ Cussons (+5.6%). Price appreciation in MTN Nigeria (+0.1%) drove the AFR-ICT index 0.1 per cent higher.
Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) strengthened to 3.7x from the 2.0x recorded previously as 55 stocks advanced against 15 decliners. Mutual Benefit Assurance (+10.0%), Royal Exchange (+10.0%) and Deap Cap (+10.0%) were the best-performing tickers, while Sunu Assurance (-10.0%), AXA Mansard (-10.0%) and Afromedia (-9.1%) were the major losers.
The NSE 30 Index increased by 0.42 per cent to close at 1,692.06 points as against 1,684.99 points on the previous day. Market turnover closed with traded volume of 206.79 million units. Lafarge Africa and Guinness were the key gainers, while Guaranty Trust Bank and International Breweries were the key losers.
In the foreign exchange market, the CBN official exchange rate closed at N379 to a dollar. At the I&E window, the rate depreciated by 0.21 per cent from the previous day’s trade to close at N393.35 against the dollar, while the parallel market rate closed at N475 to the dollar for the third straight day. Most participants maintained bids of between N390 and N396 per dollar.
Treasury Bills Trading
The NT-Bills secondary market closed on a negative note with average yield across the curve increasing by 9 basis points to close at 0.48 per cent from 0.39 per cent the previous day. Average yields across medium-term and long-term maturities widened by 1 basis point and 19 basis points, respectively, while the average yield across short-term maturities declined by 1 basis point. Maximum selling pressure was seen in the NTB 13-Jan-22 (+55 bps), NTB 25-Nov-21 (+36 bps), and NTB 28-Oct-21 (+25 bps) maturity bills.
In the OMO bills market, the average yield across the curve remained unchanged at 0.75 per cent. Average yields across short-term, medium-term and long-term maturities closed flat at 0.24 per cent, 0.33 per cent, and 1.19 per cent, respectively.
Meanwhile, in the bond market, the FGN bonds secondary market closed on a negative note Wednesday, as the average bond yield across the curve cleared higher by 8 basis points to close at 3.34 per cent from 3.26 per cent the previous day. Average yields across short tenor and long tenor of the curve advanced by 11 basis points and 14 basis points respectively, while the average yield across medium tenor of the curve compressed by 12 basis points. The 22-JAN-2026 maturity bond was the best performer with a decrease in the yield of 52 basis points, while the 27-MAR-2035 maturity bond was the worst performer with an increase in yield of 60 basis points.