The nation’s stock market closed on a positive note last week as a result of buying pressure witnessed in most sectors. The market recorded gains on three trading days of the week as the All-Share Index and the market capitalisation of equities listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange appreciated by 0.33 per cent to close at 30,773.64 basis points and N11.241tn respectively, while the year-to-date return moderated at -19.53 per cent.

A total turnover of 1.472 billion shares worth N18.678bn in 15,610 deals was traded last week by investors on the floor of the Exchange in contrast to a total of 1.169 billion shares valued at N14.762bn that exchanged hands in 14,554 deals during the previous week. The market breadth increased to 2.13x as 49 gainers emerged against 23 losers at the end of the week, compared to 34 gainers and 37 losers in the previous week.

All sectors recorded advancement last week, except the banking and consumer goods sectors, which declined by 2.20 per cent and 0.05 per cent respectively. The financial services industry (measured by volume) led the activity chart with 918.303 million shares valued at N11.015bn traded in 9,154 deals, thus contributing 62.40 per cent and 58.98 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.

The losses in the banking space stretched for the fourth consecutive week as the sector index dipped by 2.20 per cent, while the year-to-date return dragged further to -16.19 per cent. Diamond Bank Plc topped the gainers’ chart for the week, after advancing by 57.89 per cent to close at N1.50. However, selloffs on bellwether stocks dragged the performance of the sector last week as price declines were registered on some of the most capitalised stocks.

The healthcare industry followed with 280.722 million shares worth N78.511m in 259 deals. It closed higher by 2.78 per cent, thus settling the year-to-date return at -19.22 per cent. The third place was the industrial goods industry with a turnover of 108.712 million shares worth N2.949bn in 1,496 deals. It recorded an advancement of 1.14 per cent week-on-week, settling its year-to-date return at -37.10 per cent.

The agricultural sector also closed positive last week as it gained 2.31 per cent. The consumer goods sector advanced by 0.92 per cent to peg the year-to-date return at -25.66 per cent, while the insurance sector outperformed other tracked indices, gaining 3.48 per cent to settle the year-to-date return at -8.80 per cent.

The oil and gas sector gained 2.26 per cent, settling the year-to-date return at -11.80 per cent. The services sector, on its own, advanced by 0.40 per cent week-on-week to settle its year-to-date return higher at -6.79 per cent. Analysts at Meristem said despite continued profit-taking activities on sector heavyweights like Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc, the significant bargain-hunting activities on the previously downbeat stocks pulled the market to a positive close. They predicted a sustained positive run this week as investors’ bargain-hunting activities persist.

The NSE, in its weekly market report, said trading in the top three equities ― Union Diagnostic & Clinical Services Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, and Access Bank ― (measured by volume) accounted for 619.444 million shares worth N6.053bn in 2,818 deals. It said the three equities contributed 42.09 per cent and 32.41 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value, respectively. The top five gainers last week were Diamond Bank, Unity Bank Plc, Neimeth, NEM Insurance and Forte Oil, whose respective share prices gained 57.89 per cent, 39.13 per cent, 31.67 per cent, 20.87 per cent and 18.05 per cent.

The top five losers were UPDC Real Estate Investment Trust, Ikeja Hotel, Japaul Oil, Union Bank Nigeria Plc and Veritas Kapital, which saw their share prices depreciate by 18.52 per cent, 9.63 per cent, 9.09 per cent, 8.20 per cent and eight per cent, respectively.


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