The Nigerian equities market soared, logging its second gain this week as trading activities were characterised by positive sentiments as some investors, waiting on the sidelines due to the civil unrest, took position in large-cap stocks.
Ahead of the week’s close, investors and analysts continue to look forward to sustained bargain hunting activities on the last trading session on Friday.
Price appreciation in heavily weighted stocks like MTN Nigeria (+1.5%), Stanbic IBTC (+2.3%) and United Bank for Africa (UBA), up 3.0 percent, buoyed positive performance in the Nigerian Stock Exchange as the benchmark index increased 40 basis points to reach 28,563.87 points. As a result, market capitalisation rose by N59.8 billion to reach N15 trillion and the market year to date (YTD) return stood at 6.4 per cent.
Also, activity level varied as volume traded declined 4.7 per cent to 311.3 million units, while value traded rose 11 per cent to reach N4.7 billion. The most traded stocks by volume were UBA (72.4 million units), Zenith Bank (27.2 million units) and UAC Nigeria (22.2million units) while Zenith Bank (N568.2 million), UBA (N506.8 million) and Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), which traded N472.6 million, led by value.
Poor sector performance
Performance across sectors was bearish as 4 of 6 indices closed in the red. The insurance index lost the most due to sell-offs in WAPIC (-9.1%). Similarly, losses in OANDO Plc (-0.9%) and International Breweries (-3.0%) dragged the oil & gas and consumer goods indices lower by 7 basis points and 6 basis points respectively. Similarly, the banking sector index declined 3 basis points, following sell pressures in Zenith Bank (-0.7%) and FBN Holdings (-0.8%). On the other hand, gains in MTN (+1.5%) and WAPCO (+2.0%) pushed the AFR-ICT and industrial goods indices up by 0.8 per cent and 0.2 per cent respectively.
Investor sentiment improves
Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) rose to 1.8x from the 0.1x recorded in the previous trading session as 21 stocks gained against the 12 that declined. UACN (+8.3%), UNIONDAC (+8.0%) and FCMB (+8.0%) were top gainers while WAPIC (-9.1%), UAC-Properties (-3.7%) and GLAXOSMITH (-3.6%) led the laggards.
The NSE 30
The NSE 30 Index increased by 0.42 per cent to close at 1,223.70 points as against 1,218.60 points on the previous day. Market turnover closed with a traded volume of 261.90 million units. FCMB and UBA were the key gainers, while International Breweries and Fidelity Bank were the key losers.