The Nigerian equity market benchmark index rose 0.59 percent Thursday to close 33,797.84 points on sustained buying interest in blue-chip banking and consumer goods stocks.
The market recorded 33 gainers as against 24 losers as year-to-date (YTD) gains closed positive at 25.76%.
Thursday’s performance was driven by gains in ZENITH (+4.6%), NIGERIAN BREWERIES (+2.3%), GUARANTY (+1.7%) and UNILEVER (+5.7%). Similarly, investors recovered N69.0bn as market capitalization settled at N11.7tn.
Activity level was mixed as value traded improved 24.7% and volume traded dipped 24.4% to close at N7.9bn and 573.6m units respectively.
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Contrary to the previous trading session, performance across sectors was mixed as three of five indices closed in the green with the banking index gaining the most. It specifically advanced 1.8% on the back of gains in GUARANTY (+1.7%) and ZENITH (+4.6 %).
Price rally in MANSARD (+4.8%) pushed the insurance index 1.4% northwards, while the consumer goods index appreciated 1.1% as a result of an uptick in NIGERIAN BREWRIES (+2.3%).
On the other hand, investor booked profit in oil & gas and industrial goods stocks, dragging the sector index down by 1.1% apiece, due to losses in MOBIL (-4.2%), SEPLAT (-1.2%) and WAPCO (-2.7%) respectively.
Investor sentiment stayed positive, although waned slightly as market breadth closed at 1.4x (previously 1.5x) owing to 32 gainers against 24 losers.
MAYBAKER (+9.8%), SKYEBANK (+9.5%) and UNILEVER (+5.7%) led gainers while the worst performers were CHAMPION (-4.9%), HONYFLOUR (-4.8%) and NEIMETH (-4.4%).
Analysts at Afrinvest expect investor sentiment to remain strong in the near term against the backdrop of upswing in macroeconomic factor drivers.
They however caution that investors may have to keep an eye on short-term downside risks to market performance, which include the unfolding developments in the oil market as well as the CBN’s FX policies.