The nation’s stock market witnessed a rebound on Wednesday as investors gained N51.5bn on the back of price appreciation in May and Baker Nigeria Plc and 18 other stocks. At the end of trading on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Wednesday, the market capitalisation of equities increased from N13.158tn to N13.209tn.
The All Share Index increased by 0.31 per cent to settle at 27,153.53 basis points, which eased the year-to-date loss to -13.6 per cent. However, activity level weakened as volume and value traded fell by 41.9 per cent and 70.2 per cent to 211.522 million units and N1.449bn, respectively.
The top traded stocks by volume were Courteville Business Solutions Plc (35.2 million units), Sterling Bank Plc (34.7 million units) and Access Bank Plc (29.9 million units) while the top trades by value were Access Bank (N208.4m), Zenith Bank (N206.8m) and Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc (N147.8m).
Across sectors, performance was largely bullish as four sectors recorded price appreciation. The oil and gas index led gainers, up by 2.82 per cent as investors took position in Seplat Petroleum. The consumer goods index trailed by 1.60 per cent as Nestlé Nigeria Plc buoyed the sector after two consecutive days of losses.
The banking index gained 0.35 per cent on the back of major gains in FCMB Group Plc, Access Bank and UBA Group Plc. Similarly, the industrial goods index rose by 0.16 per cent following a major gain in Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc. On the flip side, the insurance index emerged the lone loser as it extended losses, down by 1.25 per cent due to sell pressures in AXA Mansard Insurance Plc, Linkage Assurance Plc and Aiico Insurance Plc.
Investor sentiment, as measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio), remained unchanged at 1.5x from the previous trading session as 19 stocks outperformed 13 stocks that declined.
The top performers were May and Baker, Union Diagnostic and Clinical Services Plc, UACN Property Development Company Plc, FCMB and Seplat Petroleum, whose respective share prices appreciated by 10 per cent, 8.70 per cent, 5.93 per cent, 5.81 per cent and 5.63 per cent.
The top decliners were Chams Plc, Livestock Feeds Plc, Linkage Assurance, Aiico Insurance and AXA Mansard Insurance, as they saw their share prices decline by 7.69 per cent, 7.69 per cent, 5.77 per cent, 4.69 per cent and 2.78 per cent, respectively.
Analysts at Afrinvest Securities Limited said despite the positive performance of the benchmark index, they expected market performance to be bearish in subsequent sessions in the absence of any market catalyst. However, they did not rule out the possibility of bargain hunting activities.