Lagos – After closing in the red for the better part of the week, trading on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) advanced 0.2 per cent.
The All Share Index settled at 29,202.54 points on the back of buying interests in bellwether stocks – Dangote Cement (+0.5%), Zenith Bank (+2.2%) and FBN Holdings (+2.1%).
Consequently, market capitalisation advanced N16.5 billion to settle at N11.0 trillion while year-to-date (YTD) loss moderated to -7.1 per cent.
Activity level was mixed as volume traded advanced 9.9 per cent to 411.2 million units while value traded declined 19.5 per cent to N2.5 billion.
Transnational Corporation with 174.5 million units, Sterling Bank with 48.8 million units and Access Bank with 37.6 million units were the top trades by volume while Guaranty Trust Bank at N758.5 million, Zenith Bank at N240.5 million and Access Bank at N220.1 million led the top trades by value.
Performance across sectors was mixed albeit more bearish as three of five major indices closed in the red while one closed flat.
The Industrial Goods index led decliners down 1.3 per cent following sell-offs in Cutix (-10.0%) and Cement Company of Northern Nigeria (-5.9%).
The Insurance and Consumer Goods indices trailed, declining 0.6 per cent and 0.4 per cent respectively on the back of losses in NEM Insurance (-4.8%), Cornerstone Insurance (-4.8%), PZ Cussons (-9.7%) and Dangote Flour Mills (-5.9%) while the Oil & Gas index closed flat despite gains in Eterna (+2.4%).
On the positive side, the banking index rose by 0.8 per cent on account of bargain hunting in Zenith Bank (+2.2%) and FBN Holdings (+2.1%).
Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) strengthened to 1.3x from 0.8x recorded in the previous trading session as 24 stocks advanced against 18 decliners.
Livestock Feeds (+10.0%), Custodian (+9.8%) and Learn Africa (+9.0%) were the best performing stocks while the laggards were led by GlaxoSmithKline (-10.0%), Cutix (-10.0%) and PZ Cussons (-9.7%).Analysts at Afrinvest believe that following today’s positive performance, they do not rule out the possibility of bargain hunting in Thursday’s trading session particularly on bellwether stocks with attractive entry prices.“However, we maintain our bearish outlook for the week”, they said.