Nigerian stocks railed higher Thursday, April 5, as investors took to bargain hunting in caps that had previously depreciated, according to dealers. Benchmark index, the NSEASI, thus inched higher by 0.3 percent to close at 40,875.69 points, while year-to-date (YTD) return rose to 6.9 percent.
The bullish performance, according to dealers and analysts could be attributed to gains in DANGCEM (+1.6%) as well as bargain hunting in ETI (+4.0%) and UBA (+1.3%).
Consequent on the positive trade, market capitalization gained on this, investors gained N45.5 billion to settle at N14.8 trillion.
In line with improved market performance, activity level improved as volume and value traded increased by 23.5 percent and 13.3 percent respectively to 495.6 million units and N7.7 billion.
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The top traded stocks by volume were UBA (103.5m), FIDELITY (90.2m) and GUARANTY (63.0m) while GUARANTY (N2.8bn), UBA (N1.2bn) and NIGERIAN BREWERIES (N0.7bn) were the top traded by value.
Sector performance was broadly positive as four of five indices under coverage closed northwards. The industrial goods index grew 0.6 percent on account of gains in DANGCEM (+1.6%). Insurance index trailed, closing 0.4 percent higher on account of gains in PRESTIGE (+9.3%) and LINKASSURE (+2.4%) while the banking index closed up 0.3 percent, as ETI (+4.0%) and UBA (+1.3%) drove the positive performance. Buying interest in ETERNA (+4.7%) drove the oil & gas index up 0.1 percent.
On the other hand, the consumer goods index closed in the red shedding 0.1 percent due to selloffs in DANGSUGAR (-1.2%), NIGERIAN BREWERIES (-0.5%) and INTBREW (-5.0%).
Investor sentiment measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) strengthened from 0.7x recorded Wednesday to 1.0x as 21 stocks advanced against 22 that declined.
The top performing stocks for today were PRESTIGE (+9.3%), LASACO (+5.6%) and TRANSCORP (+4.8%), while the laggards were led by GLAXOSMITH (-9.6%), JAIZBANK (-8.1%) and JAPAUL OIL (-7.6%).
Following the rebound, analysts expect bargain hunting to continue to drive positive market performance in the near term.