Nigerian equities remained on the upswing for the second consecutive trading session as considerable rally in the banking sector left the market with net capital gain of N58 billion. Equities had started a modest recovery with a gain of N13 billion on Wednesday.
The All Share Index (ASI)- the value-based index that tracks share prices at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), appreciated by 0.53 per cent to close at 29,347.62 points as against its opening index of 29,193.42 points. Aggregate market value of all quoted equities also rose by N58 billion from N10.965 trillion to close at N11.023 trillion. The rally moderated the negative average year-to-date return to -6.63 per cent.
With more than two advancers for every decliner, most sectoral indices showed widespread optimism, although the momentum of trading remained cautious. The NSE Insurance Index rose by 1.92 per cent. The NSE Banking Index followed with average gain of 1.19 per cent. The NSE Industrial Goods Index rose by 0.82 per cent while the NSE Oil and Gas Index closed flat for the second consecutive session. However, the NSE Consumer Goods Index declined by 0.06 per cent.
There were 15 gainers against seven losers. Guaranty Trust Bank led the gainers with a gain of 70 kobo to close at N34.25. FBN Holdings and Lafarge Africa followed with a gain of 45 kobo to close at N7.80 and N12 respectively. GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria rose by 40 kobo to close at N8.95. Stanbic IBTC Holdings and NEM Insurance added 20 kobo each to close at N46 and N2.20 respectively while United Capital chalked up 17 kobo to close at N2.77 per share.
On the negative side, Flour Mills of Nigeria led the decliners with a loss of 40 kobo to close at N16.60. Eterna followed with a drop of 35 kobo to close at N4. Ikeja Hotels dropped by 20 kobo to close at N1.85. Zenith Bank declined by 15 kobo to close at N20.45. ABC Transport lost 4.0 kobo to close at 44 kobo while Chams and Cutix dropped by 2.0 kobo each to close at 26 kobo and N1.60 respectively.
The momentum of activities slowed down as turnover dropped by 53.5 per cent to 224.03 million shares valued at N2.01 billion in 3,127 deals. Zenith Bank led the activities chart with a turnover of 45.37 million shares worth N927.74 million. LASACO Assurance followed with 42.34 million shares valued at N12.69 million while Access Bank placed third with 21.65 million shares worth N129.30 million.
Most analysts remained cautious about the outlook for the market, despite the two-day recovery. “Although we witnessed bargain hunting by investors during mid-week, we still maintain an overall bearish outlook in the near term,” Afrinvest Securities stated.
Analysts at Cordros Securities maintained that there were no positive catalysts for sustained rally in the meantime, advising investors to trade cautiously in the short term. Analysts however reiterated positive outlook over the mid to long-term citing stable macroeconomic fundamentals and attractive valuation.