The Nigerian equities market extended gains at the close of trading yesterday as the All Share Index expanded 0.54 per cent to settle at 36,680.30 points, while year-to-date (YTD) return advanced to 36.5 per cent. As a result, investors gained N67.8 billion as market capitalisation rose to N12.7 trillion. The positive performance can be largely attributed to price appreciations in Dangote Cement (+2.3%), Nestle Nigeria (+1.8%) and Seplat Petroleum Development Company (+3.1%).
Similarly, activity level strengthened as volume and value traded improved 48.1% and 67.5 per cent to 259.1 million units and N3.1 billion respectively. The Industrial Goods index led performers, up 1.1 per cent, due to gains in Dangote Cement (+2.3%). The Oil & Gas and Insurance indices trailed closely, up 1 per cent and 0.9 per cent, driven by rally in Seplat Petroleum Development Company (+3.1%) and Mansard Insurance (+4.1%) respectively.
Similarly, the Consumer Goods index (+0.2%) closed in the green on the back of price appreciation in Nestle Nigeria (+1.8%). However, the Banking index was a lone loser, down 0.9 per cent as investors took profit in Zenith Bank (-2.0%). Investor Sentiment as measured by the market breadth (advancers/decliners ratio) strengthened to 0.9x (from 0.8x recorded the previous day) consequent on 24 stocks advancing against 26 decliners.
The top performing stocks were Fidson Healthcare (+5.0%), Flour Mills of Nigeria (+5.0%) and Chemical and Allied Products (+5.0%) while Fidelity Bank (-6.2%), Beta Glass (-5.0%) and Airline Services and Logistics (-5.0%) were the worst performing stocks.
Analysts at Afrinvest attributed the positive performance to renewed confidence in bellwethers following a broadly strong earnings season. “Given improving breadth and strengthening activity level, we expect performance and sentiment to remain positive in subsequent trading session”, they said.
Diamond Bank emerged the most traded equity yesterday with an exchange of 42.942 million shares worth N42.640 million, followed by Fidelity Bank having accounted for 31.065 million shares valued at N47.615 million FBN Holdings exchanged 21.471 million shares valued at N132.124 million; Dangote Flour Mills recorded 19.717 million shares valued at N183.966 million while Transnational Incorporated traded 19.343 million shares worth N27.149 million.