BY CHARLES ABUEDE
A total of N595.9 billion profit was gained by investors last week as the week ended on a positive note in the midst of price appreciation in selected large-cap names and recoveries in other stocks with beaten-down prices regardless of the Monetary Policy rate hike on Tuesday and halting its 5-week gaining streak of last week.
As a result, buying interest in Airtel Africa, which gained 20.2 percent, Wema Bank’s appreciation of 5.5 percent, and Conoil Plc, which also gained 10 percent in the week drove the NGX All-Share Index 2.1 percent week on week to close at 54,085.30 points.
Consequently, the market year to date return rose to 26.6 percent from the previous 24 percent, while the market capitalization gained N595.9 billion week on week to close at N29.15 trillion. For equity analysts, there is an anticipation of a tepid start to the week as investors continue to bargain hunt across the board. Also, it is expected that mild gains in the market will be supported by bargain hunting.
Moving ahead, trading activity level declined as average volume and value traded fell 18.6 percent and 5.8 percent week on week, respectively, to 366.4 million units and N5.4 billion, while the top traded stocks by volume were Ecobank with 280.1 million units, Jaiz Bank, which recorded 210.8 million units, and Transnational Corporation, with 119.2 million units. In terms of the chart for the most traded security by value Ecobank led with N3.2 billion, followed by MTN Nigeria with N3 billion; and Seplat Energy, with a traded value of N2.1 billion.
Further across the sectorial front through the last week, the market performance was bearish across sectors as all indices closed lower with the exception of the ICT index which gained 8.2 percent week on week due to gains recorded in Airtel Africa by 20.2 percent.
Leading the chart for the laggards, the insurance index shed 6.3 percent week on week on account of profit-taking in Aiico Insurance (-10.3%) and Royal Exchange Assurance (-14.0%).
In the same way, the consumer goods and oil & gas indices declined 3.9 percent and 0.9 percent week on week in that order following some pressured sell-offs in Guinness Nigeria (-11.1%), Nigerian Breweries (-10.0%); and Oando Plc (-8.5%). Likewise, the banking and industrial goods indices plunged 0.8 percent and 0.7 percent week on week, respectively, on the back of price decline in Union Bank of Nigeria (-3.8%), Dangote Cement (-1.0%), and Lafarge Africa (-2.3%).
Furthermore, the investor sentiment, which is measured by market breadth, faded to -0.4x from the previous week’s -0.1x as 21 stocks gained, 53 lost while 77 were unchanged. The top outperforming stocks for the week were MRS Oil (+20.6%), Airtel Africa (+20.2%), and Conoil Plc (+10.0%), while UAC of Nigeria (-27.1%), Global Spectrum Energy Services Plc (-18.8%), and Royal Exchange (-14.0%) were the top underperforming stocks.
Meanwhile, at the close of trading last week, the NGX 30 Index decreased by 2.28 percent to close at 1,984.00 points as against 2,030.37 points at the previous week’s close and the market turnover closed with a traded volume of 112.69 million units. FBN Holdings and Flour Mills of Nigeria were the key gainers, while Nigerian Breweries and Guinness were the key losers.