By Peter Egwuatu
The equities market maintained a positive performance at the close of trade on Tuesday as price upticks in Guaranty Trust Bank, GTBank (+1.1 percent), Union Bank Nigeria, UBN (+4.5 percent) and Zenith (+0.8 percent ) drove the benchmark index, Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE All Share Index, ASI up by 0.14 percent to close at 32,173.66 points.
Consequently, market capitalisation increased by N16.3billion to N12.0 trillion while Year to Date, YtD return improved to 2.4 percent.
Activity level also strengthened as value and volume traded advanced by 32.5 percent and 75.8 percent to N3.5billion and 400.5million units respectively. The most active stocks for the day by value were GTBank (N1.2billion ), Zenith Bank (N65.0million), FBNH (N359.0 million ) while Diamond Bank (119.8million units), FBNH (44.3million units) and UBA (40.8million units) led by volume.
Sector performance was bearish as only two of five indices closed in the green. The Banking index rose 92 bases points, bps as GTBank (+1.1 percent), UBN (+4.5 percent) and Zenith Bank (+0.8 percent) continued to experience buying interests.
Similarly, the Consumer Goods index advanced 0.3 percent higher following gains in Dangote Flour (+5.8 percent), Dangote Sugar (+1.0 percent) and Honeywell Flour (+2.3 percent).
On the flip side, the Insurance index declined by 0.3 percent on the back of losses in Custodian (-2.5 percent) and Mutual Benefits (-7.4 percent).
Similarly, the Industrial Goods and Oil & Gas indices fell by 0.3 percent and 0.1 percent respectively due sell offs in Dangote Cement (-0.5 percent ), Red Star Express (-9.1 percent ), Oando (-0.9 percent) and Japaul Oil (-8.7 percent) .
Investor sentiment weakened as market breadth represented by gainers and losers declined. Dangote Flour led the gainers rising by (+5.8 percent) followed by UBN rising by (+4.5 percent ) and NASCON inching up by (+4.2 percent ) while Red Star Express led losers’ chart , dropping by (-9.1 percent ) followed by Japaul Oil which declined by (-8.7 percent ) and Mutual Benefits declining by (-7.4 percent ) .
Analysts at Afrinvest Research said: “We expect a moderation in gains as we believe investors will begin to book profit in subsequent trading session.”