The local bourse finished higher for the first time in seven sessions courtesy of gains in Lafarge Africa (+2.3%), Zenith Bank (+0.4%), and United Capital (+0.6%), which drove the benchmark index by a mild 0.01 percent to close at 38,920.50 points as market cap rose to N20.278 trillion, resulting in N2.5 billion profit for market investors, while the market year to date loss stayed unchanged at -3.4 percent.
Regardless of the soft gain recorded in Tuesday’s session, analysts posit that sentiment in subsequent sessions will likely be skewed in favour of the bears in the absence of positive triggers. Thus, the level of trading activity was mixed as total volume traded rose 13.6 percent to 228.5 million units while total value traded fell 25.6 percent to N1.9bn respectively. The most traded stocks by volume on Tuesday were Wema Bank (46.8m units), Access Bank (28.2m units), and UBA (17.8m units), while Access Bank (N263.5m), MTN Nigeria (N233.5m), and Stanbic IBTC (N230.8m) led the table of most traded securities by value on Tuesday.
Furthermore, the sectoral performance was mixed across sectors under coverage as the ICT index closed flat while the insurance index led the laggards, down 0.8 percent due to sell pressure on Linkage Assurance (-1.7%) and Mutual Benefits Assurance (-3.3%). Also, the oil & gas and consumer goods indices dipped 0.4 percent and 0.1 percent in that order on the back of losses in Oando Plc (-2.3%) and Dangote Sugar (-1.7%). Meanwhile, the industrial goods and banking indices advanced 0.1 percent, apiece, as a result of price appreciation in Lafarge Africa (+2.3%) and Zenith Bank (+0.4%).
As measured by market breadth, the sentiment of market investors weakened to 0.6x from 0.9x as 18 stocks advanced while 19 stocks declined. Leading the gainers’ chart were Academy Press (+8.3%), CourtVille Business Services (+7.4%), and VitaFoam Nigeria (+3.9%), while Sovereign Trust Insurance (-7.4%), University Press Limited (-6.4%), and Regency Alliance Insurance (-6.2%) led the losers’ table.
Meanwhile, the NGX 30 Index fell marginally by 0.002 percent to close at 1,615.83 points as against 1,615.86 points on the previous day. Market turnover closed with traded volume of 106.79 million units. Lafarge Africa and Fidelity Bank were the key gainers, while FCMB and Dangote Sugar were the key losers.