The bulls tightened hold on the Nigerian Bourse today as investors continue to react to improving macroeconomic fundamentals, particularly the recent introduction of an autonomous FX market for investors and exporters. At the close of trade, the All Share Index (ASI) rose 2.9% to reach a 6-month high of 27,546.68 points whilst YTD return swung positive for the first time in the year to close at 2.5%.
Although the positive close today was driven by broad-based buying interest across large, mid and small cap stocks, market bellwethers – DANGCEM (+2.5%), NIGERIAN BREWERIES (+3.0%) and NESTLE (+5.0%) – supported performance. Investors in turn gained N273.3bn as market capitalization advanced to N9.5tn. Also, activity level improved as volume and value traded rose 8.3% and 100.7% to settle at 584.1m units and N5.7bn respectively.
Industrial Goods Index Emerges Lone Loser
Sector indices maintained the positive streak, as observed since the start of the week, as all indices closed in the green save for the Industrial Goods index which dipped 0.9% on account of sustained sell pressure in WAPCO (-5.0%), offsetting gains in DANGCEM (+2.5%). The Banking index chaired sector gainers, up 4.1% on the back of a broad-based rally in banking stocks across Tiers - ZENITH (+5.6%), GUARANTY (+2.4%), UBA (+7.2%), FIDELITY (+8.8%) and UBN (+3.0%). The Consumer Goods index trailed with 3.6% gain, buoyed by price appreciations in NESTLE (+5.0%) and NIGERIAN BREWERIES (+2.3%). In the same vein, the Oil & Gas index added 2.4%, supported by sustained appetite for OANDO (+10.1%) and FORTE (+5.0%), while the Insurance index came in higher by 0.7% due to an uptrend in NEM (+4.3%).
Investor Sentiment Remains Bullish
Investor sentiment improved further today as buttressed by the market breadth (advancers/decliners ratio) which surged to 6.3x - 50 stocks advanced while 8 declined. The best performers were OANDO (+10.1%), NAHCO (+9.9%) and FIDSON (+9.8%) while WAPCO (-5.0%), AIRSERVICE (-4.8%) and CAVERTON (-4.3%) were the worst performing. The sustained positive market breadth indicates investors are still spotting opportunities in equities on the back of recent improvement in fundamental drivers including earnings, economic growth outlook and FX policy. Thus, we maintain our positive short term view of the equities market.
NASD OTC Exchange Market Activities
In the NASD OTC exchange, WAMCO (+1.5) traded today with total volume and value at 111,720 units and N15.6m respectively.