Nigerian stocks benchmark index expanded 0.25 percent Wednesday to settle at 36,622.85 points, chiefly buoyed by gains in UBA (+3.3%), ZENITH (+1.2%) and SEPLAT (+2.1%), thus sustaining the positive performance recorded previously.
Consequently, market capitalization grew by N100.3 billion to N12.7 trillion, just as activity levels improved with volume and value traded surging 66.6 percent and 157.4 percent respectively to settle at 333.0 million units and N4.7 billion.
Year-to-date gains at the close of market stood at 36.3 percent.
The banking index emerged the top advancer, gaining 0.7 percent as investors took positions in UBA (+3.3%) and ZENITH (+1.2%) followed by the oil & gas index, which inched up 0.4 percent owing to renewed sentiment on SEPLAT (+2.1%).
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Similarly, the consumer goods index marginally rose 0.1 percent on account of upticks in DANGSUGAR (+1.2%) and DANGFLOUR (+4.9%).
On the contrary, the insurance index dipped 1.2 percent as investors booked profit in MANSARD (-3.8%) and CONTINSURE (-3.0%), while the industrial goods index closed flat.
Investor sentiment improved as reflected in the market breadth, which expanded to 2.0x from 1.5x recorded in the previous session. The best performing stocks were FIDSON (+9.8%), CILEASING (+7.6%) and HONYFLOUR (+7.0%), while the worst performers were CUTIX (-9.4%), FORTE (-5.0%) and UPL (-5.0%).
The positive performance can be attributed to investors’ reaction to strong earnings results as well as bargain hunting.
On the global scene, stocks in the U.S had their worst day in two months on Wednesday as another batch of corporate earnings reports hit the tape. Concerns of rising bond yields also dampened sentiment in stocks.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 150 points, with Boeing contributing the most to the losses.
The S&P 500 declined 0.8 percent, with industirals and telecommunications leading decliners. Chipotle Mexican Grill was the biggest decliner on the index, dropping 15 percent after its quarterly results missed the mark. The Nasdaq composite slipped 0.9 percent.
Meanwhile, the pan-European Stoxx 600 closed provisionally lower with most major bourses and sectors in negative territory. Kering rose more than 8 percent after posting higher third-quarter sales, boosted by its Gucci brand.
The German airline Lufthansa reported strong third-quarter results indicating that revenues in the coming quarter could come above the 4.5 percent increase seen this time. The stock took over the top of the German DAX benchmark, up by more than 3 percent.
Bic dropped to the bottom of the benchmark, down by more than 8 percent, after reporting lower net sales in the third quarter.
Heineken, the world’s second-largest brewer, announced stronger sales in the third quarter with growth in all regions but Europe. Its shares fell more than 3 percent.
Frontpage December 25, 2017