The local equities market closed northward on Thursday with N14.3 billion in gains spurred by the news of a strong momentous performance in Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP) at 5.01 percent to print at N16.69 trillion for a third successive quarter, indicating a slow but steady economic recovery for national output.
Consequently, price upticks in First Bank Holding (+1.4%), Access Bank (+1.1%), Honeywell Flour (+7.5%) and Eterna Plc (+10.0%) propped up positive performances in the local bourse as the All-Share index rose 0.07 percent to close at 39,477.18 points.
However, market year to date loss remained unchanged at -2.0 percent while market capitalisation inched higher to N20.57 trillion from N20.55 trillion.
On the trading floor on Thursday, the level of trading activity was in variation as the total volume traded fell 5.6 percent to 186.3 million units, while value traded rose 70.1 percent to N1.8 billion.
However, leading the table as the most traded stocks by volume were Sovereign Trust Insurance (19.7 million units), Lafarge Africa (17.4 million units), and Honeywell Flour (15.0 million units) even though MTN Nigeria (N496.7 million), Lafarge Africa (N382.4 million), and Guaranty Trust Holding Company (N147.2 million) led the chart of the most traded securities by value in 3,595 deals.
Furthermore, performance across the sectoral front was mixed as ICT, industrial and consumer goods indices closed flat while the insurance index led gainers, up 2.3 percent due to buying interest in Aiico Insurance (+8.4%), Coronation Insurance (+2.0), and AXA Mansard (+1.2%). Correspondingly, the oil & gas and banking indices rose 0.2 percent and 0.1 percent, respectively due to gains in Eterna Plc (+10.0%), Access Bank (+1.1%), and First Bank Holding (+1.4%).
Meanwhile, investors’ sentiment, as measured by market breadth, strengthened to 2.2x from 0.8x recorded on Wednesday as 26 stocks advanced while 12 stocks declined. Eterna Plc (+10.0%), Aiico Plc (+8.4%), and GlaxoSmithKline (+7.9%) led the gainers, while Ikeja Hotel (-10.0%), SCOA (-9.4%), and ABC Transport Company (-8.3%) led the losers.
Elsewhere on the NGX 30 Index, it was up by 0.04 percent to close at 1,630.17 points as against 1,629.56 points on the previous day. Market turnover closed with traded volume of 61.22 million units. FCMB and First Bank Holding were the key gainers, while Flour Mills and Zenith Bank were the only losers.