Nigeria’s equities market settled in the positive territory on Wednesday as buying interests in big cap stocks materialised, to halt a two day losing streak.
The All Share Index (ASI) gained 0.12% to settle at 29,202.54 points while market capitalisation advanced N16.5 billion to settle at N10.97 trillion.
This was on the back of buying interests in bellwether highly capitalised stocks such as Dangote Cement that gained 0.5 percent to settle at N186, Zenith Bank that advanced 2.2 percent to close at N20.6 and FBN Holdings that gained 2.1 percent to close at N7.35.
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The year-to-date loss thus moderated to -7.1 percent as activity level ended mixed. Volume traded advanced 9.9 percent to 411.2 million units while value traded declined 19.5 percent to N2.5 billion.
Transcorp (174.5m units), Sterling Bank (48.8m units) and Access Bank (37.6m units) were the top trades by volume while Guaranty (N758.5m), Zenith Bank (N240.5m) and Access Bank (N220.1m) led the top trades by value.
The banking sector emerged the day’s lone gainer among the major five sectors. It increased by 0.8 percent on account of bargain hunting in Zenith and FBN Holdings
The Industrial Goods index led decliners down 1.3 percent following sell-offs in Cutix (-10.0%) and Cement Company of Northern Nigeria (-5.9%).
The Insurance and Consumer Goods indices trailed, declining 0.6 percent and 0.4 percent respectively on the back of losses in NEM (-4.8%), Cornerstone (-4.8%), PZ (-9.7%) and Dangote Flour (-5.9%) while the Oil & Gas index closed flat despite gains in Eterna Oil (+2.4%).
Investor sentiment remained strong as 24 stocks advanced against 18 decliners. Livestock Feeds (+10.0%), Custodian and Allied Insurance (+9.8%) and Learn Africa (+9.0%) were the best performing stocks while the laggards were led by Glaxosmithkline (-10.0%), Cutix (-10.0%) and PZ Cussons (-9.7%).
As a result of the day’s performance, analysts at Afrinvest noted that they “do not rule out the possibility of bargain hunting in Thursday’s trading session particularly on bellwether stocks with attractive entry prices. They however maintained a bearish outlook for the week.