Nigerian stocks Thursday rebounded after four days of bearish run with benchmark index gaining 1.7 percent – the highest this month – to close at 41,504.51 points.
Year-to-date (YTD) gain consequently expanded to 8.5 percent from 6.7 percent recorded previously.
The day’s bullish performance was largely driven by upticks in DANGCEM (+2.8%), GUARANTY (+4.6%) and NESTLE (+2.9%). Accordingly, market capitalisation gained N252.9 billion to close at N15.0 trillion.
Market activity level was mixed as volume traded fell 49.4 percent to 270.6 million units while value traded rose 1.6 percent to close at N3.7 billion. ZENITH (45.3m), SKYE (33.9m) and UBA (22.5m) were the most traded stocks by volume while ZENITH (N1.4bn), GUARANTY (N345.6m) and UBA (N263.5m) were the most traded stocks by value.
Performance across sectors was largely bullish as three of five indices trended northwards, while two closed in the red. The banking index advanced the most, inching 1.7 percent higher following gains in GUARANTY (+4.6%), UBA (+2.2%) and UBN (+4.7%).
The consumer goods index also closed in the green up 1.6 percent, buoyed by buying interest in NESTLE (+3.0%), NIGERIAN BREWERIES (+1.6%), and DANGSUGAR (+3.6%). The oil and gas index inched 1.5 percent higher due to gains in TOTAL (+4.5%), MOBIL (+5.0%) and FORTE (+0.2%).
On the other hand, the insurance index led the laggards, down 1.5 percent following price depreciation in MANSARD (-4.7%), and AIICO (-4.6%) while the Industrial Goods index fell 0.2% on the back of losses in WAPCO (-2.4%) and CCNN (-4.8%).
Investor sentiment measured by market breath (advance/decline) ratio improved to 0.9x from 0.6x recorded in the preceding session as 23 stocks advanced relative to 27 stocks that declined.
The top performing stocks were CUSTODIAN (+10.0%), FIDELITY (+8.1%) and WEMA (+6.5%) while CILEASING (-9.5%), JAPAULOIL (-9.2%) and CHAMPION (-7.0%) were the least performing stocks.
Indeed the day’s positive performance was line with investors and analysts expectations of a rebound before the market closes for the Easter holidays.
Analysts at had Wednesday predicted bargain hunting in blue chip stocks that had previously declined, which panned out at the close of trading Thursday. They had anticipated improved buying sentiment to buoy performance in the near term.