The domestic equities market resumed the week on a negative note as the All Share Index declined by 0.74 per cent to settle at 27,547.32 basis points while the year-to-date loss worsened to –12.3 per cent. Investors lost N99.6bn in value as the market capitalisation of equities fell from N13.523tn to N13.423tn.

The market recorded growing confidence of the nation’s equity investors as they counted gains totaling N316bn last week. The improved level of confidence in the domestic market led to bargain hunting in fundamentally sound stocks, which were trading at their lows. The market capitalisation appreciated by 2.39 per cent last week to close at N13.523tn, from N13.207tn recorded at the end of the previous week.

Last week began on a negative note, with losses in Nestlé Nigeria Plc, Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc and Access Bank Plc dragging the bourse. The losses extended to Tuesday amid bearish trading among heavyweight stocks such as Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Zenith Bank Plc and Dangote Cement Plc. However, the market turned positive midweek, supported by gains in Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc, FCMB Group Plc and Nestlé.

A 101bps gain on Thursday was spurred by positive activity across all sectors, with the oil and gas ending the week as the best performer. Analysts at Vetiva Capital Management Limited had said since the stock market exhibited similar trading patterns in the past, the possibility of profit-taking action on gains made last week could not be overruled.

Activity level strengthened on Monday as volume and value traded advanced by 62.4 per cent and 10.8 per cent to 268.237 million units and N2.906bn, respectively. The top traded stocks by volume were FBN Holdings Plc (56.6 million units), Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (25.9 million units) and Access Bank Plc (15.9 million units) while GTB (N731.5m), FBN Holdings (N309.3m) and Zenith Bank Plc (N306.4m) led by value.

Performance across sectors was mixed as three indices recorded gains. The banking index led gainers, up by 1.6 per cent, following bargain hunting in GTB and Access Bank. The insurance index trailed, rising by 1.2 per cent due to gains in NEM Insurance Plc and Linkage Assurance Plc. Similarly, the consumer goods index rose by 0.20 per cent on the back of buying interest in Nigerian Beweries Plc and Cadbury Nigeria Plc.

On the flip side, the AFRI-ICT index led laggards, down by 4.2 per cent as investors sold off shares in Airtel Africa Plc. Major price depreciation in Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc and Dangote Cement Plc drove the industrial goods index 4.2 per cent lower while the oil and gas index closed flat. Investor sentiment strengthened to 2.1x from 2.0x posted on Friday last week as 25 stocks advanced against 12 stocks that declined.

Analysts at Afrinvest Securities Limited said in line with the trend, they expected the bearish performance to continue in the absence of any positive driver. The top five gainers were Cornerstone Insurance Plc, NEM Insurance, Okomu Oil Palm Plc, Cadbury and Livestock Feeds Plc, which saw respective gains of 10 per cent, 9.55 per cent, 9.30 per cent, 8.37 per cent and 7.69 per cent.















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