By Peter Egwuatu
The benchmark Index of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE All Share Index, ASI today (Thursday) ended on the green note as it inched higher by 0.13 percent or 13 bases points, bps to close at 26,824.50 points.
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The improvement in the NSE Index led to a slight improvement in Year to Date YtD loss at -14.7 percent.
Furthermore, market capitalisation improved by N43.6billion to settle at N12.9trillion. The market performance today (Thursday) was driven by gains in First Bank Nigeria Holding, FBNH (+4.6 percent), Access Bank (+2.2 percent) and Guaranty Trust Bank (+0.5 percent).
Activity level strengthened as both volume and value traded increased by 60.0 percent and 15.9 percent to settle at 303.8million units and N1.7billion respectively.
The most traded stocks by volume were Law Union (151.7million units), UBA (20.4million units) and Access Bank (12.4million units) while the most traded stocks by value were Nestle Nigeria (N326.3million), Dangote Cement (N292.7million) and Zenith Bank (N193.1million).
Meanwhile, despite an uptick in the market, sector performance was bearish as only two of six sectors under our study gained. The Consumer Goods Index declined the most, down 30bps on the back of sell-offs in Dangote Sugar (-4.8 percent).
Similarly, the Industrial Goods and Insurance indices trailed, losing 14bps and 1bp respectively, following sell-pressures in Dangote Cement which dropped by 0.4 percent followed by LASACO Insurance which declined by -3.7 percent and REGALINS -4.8 percent. Conversely, the Oil & Gas and Banking Indices gained, up 0.7percent apiece as investors took position in Oando gaining +6.3 percent, followed by UBA (+0.5 percent) and Access Bank (+2.2 percent). Finally, the AFR-ICT closed the trading session flat.
Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth rose as 19 stocks gained against 13 losers.
The top gainers were led by Cadbury rising by +10.0 percent followed by CUTIX jumping up by +9.7 percent and GlaxoSmithKline inching up by +9.6 percent while the top losers were C & I Leasing dropping by -9.8 percent followed by JAIZ BANK declining by -8.7 percent and Livestock Feeds dipped by -7.3 percent.
Analysts at Afrinvest Research said: “We expect the underlying bearish sentiment to dominate market performance this week, although we see opportunities for bargain hunting.”