The bullish run in the Nigerian equities market extended into the seventh consecutive trading session as benchmark index rose by 1.2 percent to settle at 39,534.14 points.
Market year-to-date gain improved to 47.1 percent just as market capitalization added N159.8 billion to close at N13.8 trillion. The developments are in tandem with global markets, which rally across major regions.
The day’s positive performance for the Nigerian market could be majorly attributed to sustained buying interest in NIGERIAN BREWERIES (+2.2%), NESTLE (+6.0%) and ZENITH (+5.6%).
Similarly, activity level improved as volume and value traded grew 50.6 percent and 39.2 percent to 1.1 billion units and N10.2 billion respectively.
Sector performance was mixed though skewed towards the negative region; three indices closed in the red while two appreciated. The two gainers were the consumer goods and banking indices, up 2.7 percent and 1.8 percent as a result of sustained buying interest in NIGERIAN BREWERIES (+2.2%), NESTLE (+6.0%), ZENITH (+5.6%) and ACCESS (+3.3%).
On the other hand, the industrial goods index shed 0.8 percent due to profit taking in DANGCEM (-0.4%). In the same vein, the insurance index declined by 0.5 percent following losses in MANSARD (-4.7%) and NEM (-4.6%) while the Oil & Gas index lost 0.4% due to selloffs in TOTAL (-5.0%).
Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth declined to 1.6x (from 3.2x at previous close) due to 28 advancers against 17 decliners. The best performing stocks were UBN (+10.1%), FIDELITY (+7.6%) and NAHCO (+7.3%) while the worst performers were TOTAL (-5.0%), MANSARD (-4.7%) and NEM (-4.6%).
According to analysts at Afrinvest, the positive performance recorded on the day was broadly driven by price appreciation in large cap stocks, with market breadth weakening from the previous trading session- albeit still positive.
“Even as we expect to see increased profit taking in some counters in trading sessions ahead, the positive momentum in the bourse will likely be sustained,” they noted.
Major world stock markets advanced Thursday and the U.S. dollar rose to a two-week high as risk appetite returned and investors kept an eye on U.S. political developments and awaited a key U.S. jobs report due out on Friday.
Wall Street’s main equity indexes rose, while oil prices rebounded a day after hitting two-week lows.
A U.S. tax bill moving swiftly through Congress has influenced markets in the past month, with investors hoping that deep cuts to corporate tax rates will help further drive the record-setting run in equities.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 swung both higher and lower in Thursday’s trading, closing up 0.02 percent and with major bourses and sectors pointing in different directions.
Telecoms rallied 1.28 percent with France’s Orange leading the charge, closing up 2.32 percent. The company announced Thursday that investments would peak in 2018 at 7.4 billion euros ($8.7 billion) as it spends on networks to grow its customer base. Banks were 0.85 percent higher.