By Peter Egwuatu
The bullish sentiment pushed the benchmark index northward as the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE All Share Index, ASI surged by 1.8% to close at 26,843.11 points following gains in Guaranty Trust Bank, GTBank Plc, Zenith Bank Plc and Access Bank Plc.
Specifically, GTBank gained (+6.8 percent), Zenith Bank (+7.6 percent) and Access Bank (+9.6 percent).
Consequently, Year to Date, YtD return improved to -14.6 percent while market capitalisation rose by N236.3billion to N13.1trillion. Activity level was mixed as volume traded rose 2.3 percent to 624.8million units while value traded declined 9.8 percent to N10.0billion. The most active traded stocks by volume were Zenith Bank (167.9million units), Access Bank (99.3million units) and UBA (67.8million units) while Zenith Bank (N3.2billion ), Nigerian Breweries, NB (N1.7billion ) and MTN Nigeria (N1.6billion) led by value.
Meanwhile, performance across sectors was impressive as four of the six sectors gained. The Banking Index with +7.0 percent led gainers following gains in GTBank (+6.8 percent), Zenith Bank (+7.6 percent) and Access Bank (+9.6 percent). The Insurance (+2.0 percent) and Industrial Goods (+1.2 percent) Indices followed suit, due to buying interest in Continental Insurance (+4.4 percent), AIICO Insurance (+6.9 percent) and WAPCO (-5.7 percent). Also, price appreciation in Dangote Sugar (9.5 percent), Guinness Nigeria (+9.7 percent) and Nigerian Breweries (+0.5 percent) moved the Consumer Goods Index by 1.0 percent upward.
Conversely, the Oil & Gas index lost 1.6 percent while sell-offs in MTNN (-0.1 percent) put the AFR-ICT Index (-0.1 percent) in the red territory.
Meanwhile, investor sentiment as measured by market breadth surged as 34 stocks gained against 3 decliners.
The top gainers were Eko Corp (+9.8 percent), Caverton (+9.8 percent) and Guinness Nigeria (+9.7 percent) while Ikeja Hotel (-9.4 percent), Champion Breweries (- 9.1 percent) and MTN Nigeria (-0.1 percent) were the top losers.
Following the marked improvement in sentiment in the equities market, analysts at Afrinvest Research said: “We expect a mixed market performance in the short term as bulls continue to battle bears for dominance.”