The equities market sustained gains on Thursday as the All Share Index (ASI) grew 1.0% to 42,604.40 points while YTD return improved to 11.4%. Consequently, market capitalisation increased by N155.2bn to N15.3tn. Thursday’s performance was mainly driven by price appreciation in FBNH (+8.2%), GUARANTY (+2.0%) and DANGCEM (+0.6%). Similarly, activity level improved as volume and value traded inched 18.1% and 33.0% higher to 615.1m units and N6.3bn respectively.
Bullish Sector Performance
Performance across sectors was largely bullish as 4 of 5 indices closed in the green while one closed flat. The Banking index led gainers, up 1.3% due to a rally in GUARANTY (+2.0%), UBA (+4.2%) and ACCESS (+2.4%). The Industrial and Consumer Goods indices trailed, rising 0.9% and 0.8% respectively as investors took positions in DANGCEM (+0.6%), WAPCO (+2.0%), NIGERIAN BREWERIES (+1.9%) and DANGSUGAR (+4.8%). Similarly, the Oil & Gas index appreciated marginally by 1bp following gains in SEPLAT (+1bp). The Insurance index however closed the day flat.
Investor Sentiment Stays Positive on Bargain Hunting
Investor sentiment, measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) remained positive despite weakening to 1.2x from 1.3x recorded the previous day as 29 stocks advanced relative to 24 stocks that declined. The best performers were FBNH (+8.2%), WAPIC (+6.3%) and MAYBAKER (+5.0%) while CAVERTON (-8.8%), COURTVILLE (-8.7%) and FIRSTALUM (-7.5%) led laggards. Following the rebound in the market on Wednesday and further gains recorded yesterday, analysts at Afrinvest believe the positive trend will be sustained in the last trading day of the week as investors continue to seek for bargain opportunities in the market.