Stock market closes week with N222bn gain

Investors in the country’s stock market gained N222bn as the market recorded gains on three of four trading sessions during the week.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange closed for the week on Thursday due to the public holiday declared by the Federal Government for Easter celebrations.

The stock market opened the week with a N24bn loss as the market capitalisation of equities listed on the NSE dropped from N11.103tn on Friday to N11.079tn on Monday.

Subsequently, the market recorded gains on the remaining trading days of the week, advancing by N94bn on Tuesday, N84bn on Wednesday and N43bn on Thursday.

Analysts at Afrinvest Securities Limited said the week’s positive close and sentiment could be attributed to the positive first-quarter results that started to filter in.

They said investors would continue to take position in attractive stocks ahead of earnings expectations.

On Thursday, the All Share Index advanced by 0.39 per cent to settle at 30,086.91 basis points ahead of the Easter holidays.

Dangote Cement Plc, Access Bank Plc and United Bank for Africa Plc were the major movers of the session.

A total of 226.980 million shares worth N1.739bn exchanged hands in 3,400 deals, which showed a mix in activity level as volume traded advanced by 5.1 per cent while value traded dipped by 46.1 per cent.

The top traded stocks by volume were Access Bank (58.4 million units), Zenith Bank Plc (27.4 million units), UBA (16 million units), Chams Plc (13.8 million units) and United Capital Plc (13 million units).

The top traded stocks by value were Zenith Bank (N574.6m), Access Bank (N403.4m), UBA (N104.7m), Nigerian Breweries Plc (N78.7m) and  C & I Leasing Plc (N78.5m).

The sector performance was largely positive as all indices except the oil and gas index recorded gains.

The oil and gas index declined by 0.5 per cent as a result of major losses recorded in Oando Plc and 11 Plc.

On the flipside, the insurance index led gainers, up by 1.6 per cent due to price appreciation in AXA Mansard Insurance Plc and AIICO Insurance Plc.

Similarly, the banking index advanced by 0.8 per cent on the back of sustained buying interest in Access Bank and UBA.

The consumer goods index gained 0.3 per cent while the industrial goods index gained 0.26 per cent buoyed by gains in Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, Unilever Nigeria Plc and Dangote Cement.

Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) strengthened to 2.0x from 0.9x recorded on Wednesday as 26 stocks gained against 13 losers.

Leading the gainers chart were Royal Exchange Plc, Livestock Feeds Plc, Chams, First Aluminium Nigeria Plc and AXA Mansard, which gained 10 per cent, 9.09 per cent, 9.09 per cent, 7.89 per cent and 5.26 per cent, respectively.

The top five losers were C & I Leasing, United Capital, Berger Paints Plc, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc and Vitafoam Nigeria Plc, which saw their respective share prices shed 9.89 per cent, 9.82 per cent, 9.19 per cent, 9.09 per cent and 9.09 per cent.

Analysts at Vetiva Capital Management Limited said following the release of impressive corporate scorecards (notably from the banking space) during the week, it was expected that trading would tilt towards positive territory at beginning of next week.

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