A renewed buy interest in big cap companies such as Seplat (+6.8%), Dangote Cement (+2.2%) and Guaranty Trust Bank (+0.3%) upturned Wednesday’s bearish sentiment as the NSE All Share Index (ASI) appreciated 0.32 percent to settle at 30,802.90 points.
Consequently, the market capitalisation rose N35.8 billion to N11.3 trillion while year-to-date loss reduced to -19.5 percent. However, activity level was mixed as the volume traded increased by 171.5 percent to 546.0 million units while value traded reduced by 0.2 percent and to N4.1 billion.
The top traded stocks by volume were Union Diagnostic (274.2m units), Access Bank (61.9m units) and Zenith (37.3m units), while Zenith (N838.5m), Guaranty (N711.8m) and Access (N473.3m) were the top traded stocks by value.
Performance across sectors closed with the oil & gas index posting the most gains, up 3.1 percent due to bargain hunting in Seplat (+6.8%) and Conoil (+3.7%), while the insurance and industrial goods indices gained 2.6 percent and 1.1 percent respectively due to price appreciation in Continental Re-insurance (+5.1%), Law Union and Rocks (+7.8%), and Dangote Cement (+2.2%).
On the flip side, the banking and consumer goods indices shed 1.6 percent and 0.3 percent respectively due to sell pressures in Unity Bank (-6.7%), Access (-6.3%), Nestle (-0.7%), and Nigerian Breweries (-0.6%).
Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) further weakened to 0.8x from 1.3x recorded Wednesday as 17 stocks appreciated against 22 decliners.
The top performing stocks were NEM Insurance (+10.0%), Union Bank (+10.0%), and Berger (+9.8%) while UnionDAC (-7.7%), Union Bank (-6.7%) and Cement Company of Northern Nigeria (-6.6%) led the laggards.
The day’s buying interest in bellwethers which drove market performance is expected to be moderated by some profit taking activities in Friday’s session, according to analysts at Afrinvest.