By Charles Abuede
Sustained buying pressures continued to drive the upbeat movement in the market as the year quickly draws to a close.
The uptick witnessed in the volume of exchanged units may be closely linked to the first tranche of Dangote Cement’s share buy-back programme, which kicked off on Wednesday. To this end, market analysts and investors anticipate that the final trading session of the year will close in the positive region, riding on solid gains in big-cap stocks.
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In the meantime, the equities market maintained previous session’s uptrend as the benchmark index rose 1.03 per cent to settle at 39,512.31 points following price upticks in BUA Cement (+10.0%), International Breweries (+10.0%) and FBN Holdings (+1.4%).
Accordingly, the market year to date return improved to 47.2 per cent and market capitalisation advanced N213.4 billion to settle at N20.66 trillion from N20.447 trillion as on the previous day.
Also, the market activity level was mixed as volume traded declined 48.4 per cent to 372.9 million units while value traded rose 162.6 per cent to N11.5 billion. The most traded stocks by volume were UBA (60.6 million units), Dangote Cement (33.2 million units) and Zenith Bank (27.5 million units) while Dangote Cement (N8 billion), Zenith Bank (N690.9 million) and UBA (N524.7 million) led by value.
There was a mixed sectoral performance across the sectors as three indicators gained, two lost, while the AFR-ICT index remained flat. For the gainers, the industrial goods and insurance indices led the pack, up 3.7 per cent and 3.0 per cent, respectively due to buying interest in BUA Cement (+10.0%), Cutix Plc (+4.6%), AXA Mansard (+5.0%) and NEM Plc (+9.4%).
Similarly, price appreciation in International Breweries (+10.0%) propped a 0.4 per cent gain in the consumer goods index. Conversely, the banking and oil & gas indices dipped 0.7 per cent and 0.4 per cent respectively, driven by sell-offs in UBN (-5.4%), Access Bank (-2.2%) and Oando Plc (-3.3%).
Similarly, investor sentiment as measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) strengthened to 1.2x from the 0.9x recorded previously as 23 stocks advanced against 19 decliners. International Breweries (+10.0%), BUA Cement (+10.0%) and Eterna Plc (+10.0%) were the best performing tickers while FTN Cocoa (-9.9%), Deap Capital (-7.4%) and Honeywell Flour (-6.8%) led the losers.
NSE 30 Index
The NSE 30 Index increased by 1.26 per cent to close at 1,603.71 points as against 1,583.79 points on the previous day. Market turnover closed with traded volume of 247.74 million units. International Breweries and BUA Cement were the key gainers, while Flour Mills and UBN were the key losers.
Foreign Exchange Market
On the street FX market, the naira held firm at N470 to a dollar. At the I&E FX market, naira depreciated by 0.13 per cent as the dollar was quoted at N394 as against the last close of N393.50. Most participants maintained bids of between N385 and N396 per dollar.
Yields in the T-bills market saw an uptick on Wednesday, amidst the conducted Primary Market Auction (PMA). Investors booked gains across the tickers, lifting the average yield in the market by 9 basis points to 0.5 per cent, compared to 0.4 per cent on Tuesday. At the PMA, the CBN sold N10 billion, N20 billion and N44.84 billion respectively across the 91-day, 182-day, and 364-day instruments. Relatively strong bid on the 91-day pushed the stop rate lower to 0.035 per cent from 0.0480 per cent at the previous PMA, while the 364-day cleared higher at 1.2100 per cent from 1.1390 per cent. The 182-day, on the other hand, remained at 0.5000 per cent.
At the OMO trading, activities were with a bearish bias, helped by profit-taking that dominated activities in the market. Thus, average yield closed at 0.6 per cent, 4bps higher day on day. Buying interest was seen across short-term maturities with average yields falling by 10 bps. However, the average yields on medium-term and long-term maturities remained unchanged.
The Bond Market
In the bond market, the bearish momentum was maintained, owing to broad selloffs across the curve. Amid pockets of demand littered across the curve, the market swung in favour of the bears, following sustained sharp profit-booking from Tuesday. Thus, the average bond yield rose 21bps higher to 6.3 per cent. Across the curve, yields on the short end and the long end increased by 32bps and 23bps apiece, while the intermediate segment of the market also saw an uptick of 11bps. The 17-Mar-2027 (+128bps) was the most-sold instrument during Wednesday’s session.