Performance in Wednesday trading session at the Nigerian bourse was broadly buoyed by renewed buy sentiment towards banking stocks – ZENITH (+2.1%), STANBIC (+3.1%), FBNH (+4.2%), and GUARANTY (+0.8%) – which offset losses in DANGCEM (-1.0%) and NESTLE (-1.8%).
Accordingly, the Nigerian bourse sustained its positive momentum into its 10th session with the benchmark index rising 0.2 percent to close at a month high of 33,514.93 points, while year-to-date return expanded to +24.7 percent.
By this development, stock prices gained N27 billion in value as market capitalization increased to N11.6 trillion. Also, activity level improved as volume and value traded increased 2.4 percent and 69.5 percent to 331.4 million units and N3.2 billion respectively.
Performance across sectors was mixed as two of five indices closed in the green.
The oil & gas index advanced the most, up 1.4 percent on the back of price appreciation in OANDO (+5.0%), whilst renewed buying interest in ZENITH (+2.1%) and STANBIC (+3.1%) drove the banking index 1.1% higher.
On the flip side, the insurance and industrial goods indices dipped 0.5 percent apiece against the backdrop of losses in MANSARD (-4.3%) and DANGCEM (-1.0%), while the consumer goods index closed flat as gains in NIGERIAN BREWERIES (+0.6%) offset losses in NESTLE (-1.8%).
One key development is that investor sentiment as reflected by the market breadth (advancers/decliners’ ratio) has begun to wane, softening to 1.0x (from 1.3x recorded yesterday) as 24 stocks advanced against 23 that declined.
The top gainers were TRANSCORP (+8.8%), SKYEBANK (+5.0%) and PZ (+5.0%) while PRESCO (-5.0%), MRS (-5.0%) and LIVESTOCK (-4.4%) were the worst losers.
After a 10-trading session rally, analysts are still positive that market performance would remain largely bullish in the week and beyond as half-year corporate scorecards begin to trickle in.