As expected, the Nigerian equities market closed northwards at the end of the trading session on Wednesday as the market continued to enjoy positive momentum with the bulls consolidating the grip on the market to give investors N239 billion profit.
The domestic equities market closed in the green on the back of positive sentiment surrounding the earnings results. Consequently, the NSE All-Share Index (ASI) rose 158 basis points to 29,437.60 points due to gains in Nestle Plc (+10.0%), Dangote Cement (+2.2%) and Ecobank (+7.6%). Similarly, investors gained N239 billion as market capitalisation increased to N15.4 trillion and the market year to date (YTD) return improved to 9.7 per cent.
Also, the activity level on the trading floor on Wednesday was mixed as volume traded fell 2.7 per cent to 375.2 million units while value traded rose 59 per cent to N4.6 billion. The most traded stocks by volume were Zenith Bank (46.7 million units), Fidelity Bank (33.5 million units) and Ecobank (27.5 million units); while BUA Cement (N1.0 billion), Zenith Bank (N1.0 billion) and Guaranty Trust Bank (N394.1 million) led by value.
Bullish sector performance
Performance across sectors was bullish as 5 of the 6 indices recorded gains save the AFR-ICT index which closed flat. The Consumer Goods and Oil & Gas indices advanced 5.7 per cent and 2.1 per cent respectively due to buying interest in Nestle Plc (+10.0%), Flour Mills (+6.4%), OANDO (+9.8%) and Total Plc (+6.0%).
Similarly, the Insurance and Banking indices rose 1.5 per cent and 1.2 per cent respectively following gains in Custodian Pensions (+10.0%), NEM (+9.9%), Ecobank (+7.6%) and FBN Holdings (+3.3%). Lastly, price appreciation in Dangote Cement (+2.2%) drove the Industrial Goods index higher by 1.1 per cent.
Investor sentiment weakens
Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) weakened to 8.2x from the 23.0x recorded previously as 41 stocks gained against the 5 that declined. Nestle Plc (+10.0%), Custodian Pensions (+10.0%) and NEM (+9.9%) were top gainers while Royal Express (-8.0%), CUTIX (-6.8%) and Honeywell Flour (-1.0%) led laggards.
The NSE 30
The NSE 30 Index increased by 1.81 per cent to close at 1,265.82 points as against 1,243.37 points on the previous day. Market turnover closed with a traded volume of 278.70 million units. Custodian and Nestle were the key gainers, while there were no losers.