By Charles Abuede
Amid cautious trading on Wednesday, the Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share index rose 11 basis points to 40,341.05 points as notable buying sentiments on top stocks pushed price gains in Flour Mills (+6.9%), Mobil (+9.4%) and Wapco (+1.4%) respectively. Consequently, the market year to date return improved to 0.2 per cent while market capitalisation advanced by ₦23.6 billion to settle at ₦21.1 trillion.
Contrastingly, activity level retreated as volume and value traded declined 59.9 per cent and 12.6 per cent respectively to 468.1 units and ₦7.0 billion. The most traded stocks by volume were Zenith Bank (45.8million units), Lasaco (40.7million units) and UBA (31.8million units) while MTN Nigeria (₦2.2billion), Zenith Bank (₦1.2billion) and GTBank (₦592.7million) topped by value.
The performance across sectors was positive as all indices under coverage gained except the AFR-ICT index that closed flat. The insurance index led the gainers, advancing 4.1 per cent due to price uptick in AXA Mansard (+9.5%), Custodian Insurance (+2.6%) and Aiico Insurance (+2.6%). Similarly, the oil & gas and consumer goods indices appreciated 1.7 per cent and 0.1 per cent respectively due to buying interest in Mobil (+9.4%) and Flour Mills (+6.9%). The banking and industrial goods indices also gained 8 basis points apiece as Access Bank (+1.1%), Zenith Bank (+0.4%), and Wapco (+1.4%) ticked higher.
Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) increased to 1.9x from the 1.3x recorded previously as 31 stocks advanced against 16 decliners. Academy Press (+10.0%),Veritas Capitals (+10.0%) and Sovereign Trust Insurance (+10.0%) were the best-performing tickers while Chellarams (-10.0%), Livestock (-9.7%) and CHI Plc (-8.8%) were the major losers.
NSE 30 Index
Also, the NSE 30 Index increased marginally by 0.08 per cent to close at 1,648.27 points as against 1,646.92 pointsthe previous day. Market turnover closed with a traded volume of 199.84 million units. 11 Plc (Mobil) and Flour Mills were the key gainers, while International Breweries and Ecobank were the key losers.
In the foreign exchange market, the naira gained at the unofficial street market for the first time this week as it traded ₦474 against the dollar, resulting in a gain of₦1 from the previous day’s trading. On the other hand, the I&E window rate recouped previous losses with a firmer N0.67 to exchange hands at N393.33 per dollar than its previous close of N394 for the greenback. Meanwhile, most market participants maintained bids of between N390 and N414.90 per dollar.
The bearish outcome came as the CBN held the first T-bills auction of 2021, which saw profit-taking at the short end of the market, stoked by a 3 basis points rise in yields to 0.5 per cent, from 0.48 per cent on the previous day. Average yields across short-term and medium-term maturities widened by 11 basis points and 1 basis point, respectively, while the average yield across long-term maturities remained unchanged at 0.73 per cent. Maximum selling pressure was seen in NTB 11-Feb-21 (+17 bps), NTB 25-Feb-21 (+14 bps), and NTB 11-Mar-21 (+12 bps) maturity bills.
Meanwhile, at the Primary Market Auction held on Wednesday, the CBN offered NT-Bills worth N232.36 billion across 91-day (N12.76 billion), 182-day (N26.60 billion), and 364-day (N193.00 billion) tenors.
In the OMO market, the average yield across the curve increased by 2 basis points to close at 0.81 per cent from 0.79 per cent on the previous day. Selling pressure was seen across short-term maturities with the average yield rising by 2 basis points while buying interest was witnessed across medium-term and long-term maturities with average yields falling by 3 basis points and 1 basis point, respectively. Yields on 10 bills compressed with the 25-May-21 maturity bill recording the highest yield decline of 5 basis points, while yields on 6 bills advanced with the 23-Mar-21 maturity bill registering the highest yield increase of 4 basis points.
In the Bond market, investors’ profit-taking persisted, although mildly as investors tread softly ahead of the Q1:2021 Bond issuance calendar. Accordingly, the average bond yield across the curve cleared higher by 1 basis point to close at 3.25 per cent from 3.24 per cent on the previous day. Average yields across short tenor and long tenor of the curve widened by 1 basis point and 3 basis points respectively, while the average yield across medium tenor of the curve remained unchanged.
The 27-JAN-2022 maturity bond was the best performer with a decrease in the yield of 1 basis point, while the 18-APR-2037 maturity bond was the worst the performer with an increase in yield of 19 basis points.