The nation’s stock market, for the first time in 2019, posted slight gain after the close of trading on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Thursday.
The All-Share Index rose by 0.62 per cent to close at 29,517.80 basis points, while the market capitalisation of equities listed on the NSE increased from N10.940 trillion on Wednesday to N11.007 trillion on Thursday.
The year-to-date return settled at -6.1 per cent while the activity level strengthened as a total number of 385.292 million shares valued at N3.068 billion exchanged hands in 3,667 deals, representing a 64.1 per cent and 36.6 per cent increase in volume and value traded.
The performance of the market, analysts say was helped on Thursday by gains in Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Dangote Cement Plc and Zenith Bank Plc.
The top traded stocks by volume were Custodian Investment Plc (120.3 million units), Access Bank Plc (60.5 million units) and FBN Holdings Plc (48.9 million units), while the top traded stocks by value were Custodian Investment (N697.6m), Zenith Bank (N515.5m) and FBN Holdings (N347.2bn).
Three of the five sectoral indices closed in green, making performance across sectors to be mixed.
The banking index recorded the highest gain, advancing by 2.7 per cent on the back of price appreciation in Zenith Bank and Diamond Bank Plc.
Also, the industrial goods index appreciated by 2.24 per cent as a result of the gains recorded by Dangote Cement, Lafarge Africa Plc and Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc, while the oil and gas index posted a gain of 0.1 per cent on the back of price appreciation in Forte Oil Plc and Eterna Plc.
However, the insurance index depreciated by 2.05 per cent as major losses in NEM Insurance Plc, Linkage Assurance Plc and Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc dragged it lower, just as the consumer goods index dipped by 1.75 per cent, occassioned by losses recorded by Nestlé Nigeria Plc and Guinness Nigeria Plc.
Investor sentiment, as measured by market breadth, strengthened to 1.4x from 0.7x on Wednesday as 21 stocks advanced against 15 that declined.
Stock performance were led by Law Union and Rock Insurance Plc, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, Eterna Plc, GTB and Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc, as their share prices made respective gains of 10 per cent, 9.86 per cent, 8.86 per cent, 6.07 per cent and 5.93 per cent.
On the flip side, the worst-performing stocks were led by Guinness Nigeria Plc, NEM Insurance, UPDC Real Estate Investment Trust, Resort Savings and Loans Plc and Linkage Assurance, as their respective share prices declined by 10 per cent, 9.95 per cent, 9.85 per cent, 9.76 per cent and 9.72 per cent.