The Nigerian stock market continued to enjoy buying interest this week after a brief decline Monday as investors took advantage of cheap assets on the exchange to gain about N157 billion in four consecutive trading sessions.
Bargain hunting in banking stocks – GT Bank Zenith Bank, Access Bank and UBA – drove performance northwards with the market gaining 224 basis points cumulatively between Tuesday and Friday.
Hence on a week on week basis (w-o-w), the All Share Index (ASI) rose 1.4 per cent to close at 31,426.63 points while market capitalization increased by N157 billion to close at N11.719 trillion.
As a result, the Year-to-Date (YtD) loss contracted to -1.0 per cent.
Across sector indices, performance was mixed w-o-w, although negatively skewed as 3 of 5 indices closed in the red.
The Industrial Goods index led laggards, down 2.0 per cent dragged by losses in Dangote Cement (-0.5 per cent) and WAPCO (-2.3 per cent). Similarly, price depreciation in Seplat (-6.3 per cent), Forte Oil (-1.7 per cent), Nigerian Breweries (-1.4 per cent) and Unilever (-1.2 per cent) weighed on the Oil & Gas and Consumer Goods indices which declined 1.3 and 0.4 per cent respectively.
On the other hand, the Banking and Insurance indices closed in the green, up 7.1 and 2.0 per cent respectively due to buying interest in GT Bank (+8.0 per cent), Zenith Bank (+7.0), Mansard (+4.8 per cent) and Cornerstone (+5.0 per cent).
Investor sentiment measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) strengthened as 38 equities advanced while 21 others declined.
As at Friday January 25, 2018, Diamond Bank topped the gainers’ chart with 10 per cent to close at N2.31 per share. Total followed with a gain of 10 per cent to close at N214.50, Caverton-one of the best performing stock for the week, increased by 9.91 per cent to close at N2.33, FCMB inched 9.69 per cent to close at N2.15 while Wema Bank appreciated by 9.38 per ceent to close at 0.70 kobo per share.
On the flipside, Chip Plc topped the losers’ chart with 7.89 per cent to close at 0.35 kobo per share. NPF Microfinance Bank was next with a 7.59 per cent loss to close at N1.46, PZ fell by 4.64 per cent to close at N11.30, UAC-Prop depreciated by 3.64 per cent to close at N1.59 while Mansard lost 2.50 per cent to close at N1.95.
Similarly, activity level improved as average volume and value traded rose 41.8 and 28.0 per cent W-o-W to 412.1 million units and N3.1 billion respectively.
Diamond Bank was the toast of investors, trading about 89.75 million shares worth N204.81 million. FBN Holdings sold 64.62 million shares valued at N492.49 million while Access Bank transacted 60.50 million shares valued at N387.27 million.
Reacting to this, Analysts at Afrinvest in an emailed response to Sunday Sun said, “We believe appetite for value stocks will remain upbeat in the near term. Nonetheless, we expect to see profit taking activities at the start of the coming week”
Cordros Capital, a Lagos-based firm, said “Our views on the equities market continues to favour cautious trading owing to heightening political concerns ahead of the 2019 elections and the absence of a positive market trigger.”