Nigerian stocks Thursday returned to positive trade on back of bargain hunting in bellwethers such as NESTLE (+3.5%), ZENITH (+1.9%), FBNH (+2.7%) and GUARANTY (+0.6%), which drove the All Share Index (ASI) 0.2 percent higher to 36,427.22 points while YTD loss moderated to 4.7 percent.
Market capitalisation consequently appreciated N29.1 billion to settle at N13.2 trillion.
However, activity level weakened as volume and value traded fell 48.2 percent and 18.3 percent to 171.0 million units and N3.0 billion respectively. The top traded stocks by volume were ZENITH (30.3m units), UBA (21.7m units) and FCMB (19.0m units) while NIGERIAN BREWERIES (N761.2bn), ZENITH (N717.2bn) and DANGCEM (N423.4bn) were the top traded by value.
Performance across sectors was bullish as all indices closed in the green. The banking and insurance indices appreciated the most, gaining 0.8 percent apiece, following price appreciation in ZENITH (+1.9%), GUARANTY (+0.6%) and CONTINSURE (+7.0%).
In like manner, the consumer and industrial goods indices advanced 0.2 percent apiece, on the back of buy interest in NESTLE (+3.5%), NASCON (+2.5%) and CCNN (+6.0%) while gains in MOBIL (+7.5%) and FORTE (+4.3%) buoyed the Oil & Gas index (+0.1%).
Investor sentiment, as measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) strengthened to 1.0x from 0.6x recorded previously as 20 stocks advanced against 20 stocks that declined. Today’s top gainers were HONYFLOUR (+9.9%), CUTIX (+9.8%) and AIICO (+9.7%) while NEIMETH (-9.3%), WAPIC (-9.1%) and CUSTODIAN (-8.9%) were declined the most.
Analysts at Afrinvest Research expect the market to close the week in the green on bargain hunting in fundamentally sound stocks as observed in the day’s trading session.