For the second time in one month since the turn of the year, the Nigerian stock market closed positively, as Friday’s trading session saw the All Share Index (ASI) notching up 1.06 per cent to close strongly amidst interest across large capitalized stocks.
The ASI which opened on January 7, 2019 at 30,400.28 points, dropped 569.58 absolute points to close the week at 29,830.70 points – still below the 30,000 mark, thus representing a 1.87 per cent decrease week-on-week after three consecutive losses on the domestic bourse.
Also, the market capitalization increased by N185 billion from N10.939 trillion recorded on January 9, 2019 to close the week at N11.124 trillion.
As a result, Year-to-Date (YtD) return moderated at -5.9 per cent. Buoyed by gains in the shares of UBA(+1.38 per cent), Dangote Cement(+3.21 per cent) and Guinness (+4.76 per cent), performance in counters of the market closed in the green save for the oil and gasindex.
The banking index recorded a 2.7 per cent gain due to price appreciation in Access Bank (+6.60 per cent), the consumer goods followed with a 1.32 per cent gain due to jump in the shares of Guinness (+4.76 per cent),
the Industrial Goods and Insurance indices trailed 2.2 and 0.1 per cent respectively on the back of gains in CCNN (+2.83 per cent) and Wapic (+10.0 per cent).
Market breadth was positive as 30 stocks appreciated in value while five others depreciated. Cornerstone topped the gainers’ chart with 10 per cent to close at 0.22 kobo, Veritaskap followed with 10 per cent to close at 0.22 kobo, Wapic rose by 10 per cent to close at 0.44 kobo, NPF Microfinance Bank increased by 9.66 per cent to close at N1.59 while Dangote Flour garnered 9.65 per cent to close at N6.25 per share.
On the flipside, Seplat topped the losers’ chart with 10 per cent to close at N576 per share. Custodian was next with a 8.62 per cent decline to close at N5.30, Unity Bank lost 7.78 per cent to close at 0.83 kobo, UACN fell by 3.33 per cent to close at N8.70 while Nigerian Breweries dropped 1.27 per cent to close at N78.
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Diamond Bank again topped standings in terms of volume of shares, trading 30.40 million shares worth N61.02 million. UBA sold 26.47 million shares valued at N192.83 million while Zenith Bank ranked third with the sale of 18.97 million shares N408.92 million.
At the close of trading on Friday, the volume and value of stocks traded stood at 206.30 million units and N2.74 billion, respectively exchanged in 3,538 deals.
Analysts have repeatedly maintained that their outlook for equities in the near-to-medium terms remains conservative amidst brewing political concerns.
Speaking to Sunday Sun via email, analysts at Afrinvest said, “we envision profitable opportunities in short-term trading on bellwethers as they have been the dominant influences of market performance in recent times”.
Also reacting, Chief Executive Officer, FrontVine Securities, Chief Eugene Ezenwa, noted that the investors are holding back because of the uncertainty in the political space in Nigeria.
He said: “January period is always kind of bearish as these investors want to pay school fees, rent fees and the rest and so after January, these investors tend to retake position in bellwether stocks.
“Friday saw good runs in the banking stocks and so it is expected that the market will see slight positivity in next week trading sessions because investors will want to continue taking positions because of dividend yield.”