The Nigerian Equities market recorded a positive close for the 6th consecutive trading session on Wednesday, as the benchmark index added 151 basis points (bps) to settle at 39,075.30 points – 37-month high. Consequently, YTD return of the All Share Index (ASI) expanded to 45.4% as market capitalisation increased by N202.3bn to N13.6tn. Similar to the previous session, positive market performance was spread across sectors, although the largest contributors were banking stocks- ZENITH (+4.1%), UBA (+5.8%), and GUARANTY (+0.1%) - as well as DANGCEM (+0.4%) and NIGERIAN BREWERIES (+1.7%). However, activity level was mixed as volume traded jumped 34.7% to 703.7m units while value traded fell 3.0% to N7.3bn.
Banking Index Leads Sector Gainers
Sector performance was largely positive as all indices under our coverage, bar the Oil & Gas index, appreciated. The Banking index led sector gainers, rising 3.0%, on the back of sustained buying interest in ZENITH (+4.1%), UBA (+5.8%) and GUARANTY (+0.1%). The Consumer Goods and Insurance indices trailed, gaining 1.5% and 0.2% due to price appreciations in NIGERIAN BREWERIES (+1.7%), FLOURMILL (+4.8%) and NEM (+4.8%). Similarly, the Industrial Goods index added 0.2% on the back of gains in DANGCEM (+0.4%) while the Oil & Gas index closed flat.
Market Breadth Improves
Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth improved to 3.2x (from 2.8x at previous close) due to 32 stocks advancing and 11 stocks declining. The top performers of the day were FBNH (+10.1%), TRANSCORP (+9.4%) and DIAMOND (+9.3%) against the worst performers - GLAXOSMITH (-5.0%), STUDPRESS (-4.8%) and LEARNAFRCA (-4.8%). Following the spate of gains recorded through the week, analysts at Afrinvest said the market is expected to see some profit taking by investors in trading sessions ahead.