Investors took N65 billion in share price gains on Thursday from bargain hunting activities in MTN Nigeria, Access Bank and Lafarge Africa, which drove more gains on the local bourse as the benchmark index rose by 0.32 percent to 39,670.29 points. As a result, the market year to date return further improved (1.5 percent) while the total market capitalization of the listed equities increased to N20.66 trillion from N20.60 trillion in the previous session.
However, it was mixed trading as the activity level in the market saw total volume traded close with an exchange of 201.8 million units, valued at N1.68 billion and traded in 3,274 deals. This represents a 52.8 percent increase in the total volume, while the trade value tanked 37.2 percent. The most-traded securities by volume on Thursday were Courtville (34.8m units), Ecobank (18.7m units), and Transnational Corporation (12.8m units), while MTN Nigeria (N543.8m), Zenith Bank (N140.8m), and Guaranty Trust Holding Company (N119.0m) led by value.
Across the sectoral fronts, the market performance varied as the ICT index led the gainers’ table with a gain of 1.4 percent and was driven by buying interest in Courtville (7.4%) and MTN Nigeria (2.6%). In the same manner, the insurance and industrial goods indices improved by 0.8 percent and 22 basis points respectively on the back of price uptick in Aiico Insurance (+3.2%), Coronation Insurance (+2.1%), and Lafarge Africa (+3.8%).
On the contrary, the consumer goods index lost the most, down 1.7 percent due to selling pressure on Nigerian Breweries (-8.8%) and Dangote Sugar (-0.6%). Also, the oil & gas and banking indices fell by 7 basis points and 6 basis points respectively as a result of price depreciation in Eterna Plc (-2.7%), Ecobank (-3.6%), and FCMB (-3.5%).
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Meanwhile, investors’ sentiment, as measured by market breadth strengthened positively and settled at 1.5x from 1.1x recorded in the previous trading session as 23 stocks advanced while 15 stocks declined. Neimeth Pharmaceuticals (+10.0%), Nahco Plc (+10.0%), and Honeywell Flour (+10.0%) led the gainers while Nigerian Breweries (-8.8%), Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc (-6.7%), and Sovereign Trust Insurance (-3.7%) led the losers.
And on the NGX 30 Index, there was an increase by 0.38 percent to close at 1,643.25 points as against 1,636.97 points, on the previous day. Market turnover closed with a traded volume of 72.40 million units. Lafarge Africa and MTN Nigeria were the key gainers, while Nigerian Breweries and Ecobank were the key losers.