The Nigerian equities market reversed a 2-day downtrend at the close of trade Wednesday as the bourse all-share index (ASI) rose 0.4 percent to 37,933.86 points while year-to-date gain expanded to 41.2 percent.
To this end, market capitalization increased by N53.4 billion to settle at N13.5 trillion. The day’s positive performance could be traced to buy an interest in large-cap stocks – NESTLE (+2.1%), GUARANTY (+1.5%), SEPLAT (+5.0%) and DANGCEM (+0.2%).
However, activity level declined as volume and value traded fell 68.0 percent and 37.6 percent to 207.9 million units and N3.4 billion respectively.
Performance across sectors was bullish as all indices closed positive. The oil & gas index appreciated the most, up 2.5 percent on the back of price appreciations in SEPLAT (+5.0%). The consumer goods and insurance indices followed suit, rising 0.6 percent and 0.2 percent respectively due to gains in NESTLE (+2.1%), UNILEVER (+4.5%), LINKASSURE (+5.0%) and CONTINSURE (+0.7%).
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Similarly, buy interest in DANGCEM (+0.2%) drove the industrial goods index 0.1 percent higher while the banking index marginally improved 0.02 percent following an uptick in GUARANTY (+1.5%).
Market breadth (advancers/decliners ratio) strengthened to 1.2x from 0.6x recorded previously, consequent on 23 stocks advancing against 20 stocks that declined.
The best performing stocks for the day were LINKASSURE (+5.0%), CHAMPION (+5.0%) and SEPLAT (+5.0%) while FLOURMILL (-5.0%), PZ (-5.0%) and GLAXOSMITH (-5.0%) were the worst performers.
The market outcome was actually dictated by investors taking a position in stocks that had declined in prior sessions. Most analysts, therefore, are expecting bargain hunting to continue to drive market performance in subsequent trading sessions.
Analysts at Afrinvest had indeed foresaw the day’s rebound when they forecast bargain hunting taking the driving seat after the market traded lower in two consecutive days Tuesday.