The bullish run in the Nigerian equities market extended into the seventh consecutive trading session on Thursday as the All Share Index rose by 1.2% to settle at 39,534.14 points while YTD return improved to 47.1%. Accordingly, market capitalization added N159.8bn to close at N13.8tn. The day’s positive performance can be majorly attributed to sustained buying interest in NIGERIAN BREWERIES (+2.2%), NESTLE (+6.0%) and ZENITH (+5.6%). Likewise, activity level improved as volume and value traded grew 50.6% and 39.2% to 1.1bn units and N10.2bn respectively.
Mixed Sector Performance
Sector performance was mixed albeit skewed towards the negative region- 3 indices closed in the red while 2 appreciated. The 2 gainers were the Consumer Goods and Banking indices, up 2.7% and 1.8% as a result of sustained buying interest in NIGERIAN BREWERIES (+2.2%), NESTLE (+6.0%) ZENITH (+5.6%) and ACCESS (+3.3%). On the other hand, the Industrial Goods index shed 0.8% due to profit taking in DANGCEM (-0.4%). In the same vein, the Insurance index declined by 0.5% following losses in MANSARD (-4.7%) and NEM (-4.6%) while the Oil & Gas index lost 0.4% due to selloffs in TOTAL (-5.0%).
Investor Sentiment Weakens
Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth declined to 1.6x (from 3.2x at previous close) due to 28 advancers against 17 decliners. The best performing stocks were UBN (+10.1%), FIDELITY (+7.6%) and NAHCO (+7.3%) while the worst performers were TOTAL (-5.0%), MANSARD (-4.7%) and NEM (-4.6%). The positive performance recorded today was broadly driven by price appreciation in large cap stocks, with market breadth weakening from the previous trading session- albeit still positive. Even as we expect to see increased profit taking in some counters in trading sessions ahead, the positive momentum in the Bourse will likely be sustained.