The Nigerian equities market reversed previous negative performance Thursday as benchmark index, the NSEASI, closed 33bps higher to settle at 43,092.63 points.
Market year-to-date (YTD) return increased to 12.7 percent, while market capitalization gained N50.2bn rising to N15.4 trillion.
The positive performance today can be attributed to upticks in GUARANTY (+2.9%), UNILEVER (+7.5%) and STANBIC (+5.0%), which offset losses in DANGCEM (-1.1%).
However, activity level weakened as volume and value traded fell 1.6 percent and 37.2 percent to 266.0 million units and N3.2 billion respectively. The top traded stocks by volume were CAPOIL (308.8m), JAPAUL OIL (24.0m) and MULTIVERSE (17.5m) while ZENITH (N506.2m), GUARANTY (N499.2m) and DANGCEM (N485.8m) were the top trades by value.
Performance across sectors was mixed as two of five indices closed in the green while three trended southwards.
The consumer goods index advanced the most, inching 0.9 percent higher following gains in UNILEVER (+7.5%) and NIGERIAN BREWERIES (+0.7%) while the banking index (+0.7%) was buoyed by price appreciation in GUARANTY (+2.9%) and ACCESS (+0.8%).
On the flipside, the Insurance index led laggards, down 0.9 percent as profit taking in MANSARD (-4.4%) and NEM (-3.6%) weighed on performance. Similarly, losses in DANGCEM (-1.1%) pulled the industrial goods index 0.5 percent lower while the oil & gas index shed 3bps due to losses in FORTE (-0.2%).
Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) remained flat at 1.1x consequent on 30 stocks advancing against 28 decliners.
The top performing stocks were JAPAUL OIL (+9.9%), WAPIC (+8.6%) and UNILEVER (+7.5%) while the worst performing were CILEASING (-9.3%), REGALINS (-7.5%) and JAIZBANK (-5.0%).
“We expect this positive performance to be sustained till the end of the week as investors continue to seek bargain opportunities in the market,” analysts at Afrinvest noted.