Stories by Chinenye Anuforo
The Nigerian stock market benchmark index trended northwards at the close of trading session yesterday owing to sustained buying interest in blue-chip banking and consumer goods stocks.
As such, the All Share Index (ASI) advanced 0.6 per cent to settle at 33,797.84 points, increasing Year-To-Date return to 25.8 per cent.
The performance was driven by gains in Zenith Bank, Nigerian Breweries, Guaranty Trust Bank and Unilever.
Similarly, investors gained N69 billion as market capitalization settled at N11.7 trillion. However, activity level was mixed as value traded improved 24.7 per cent and volume traded dipped 24.4 per cent to close at N7.9 billion and 573.6 million units respectively.
Contrary to the previous trading session, performance across sectors was mixed as 3 of 5 indices closed in the green. The banking index gained the most, advancing 1.8 per cent on the back of gains in Guaranty and Zenith while price rally in Mansard pushed the Insurance index 1.4 per cent northwards. Similarly, the consumer goods index appreciated 1.1 per cent as a result of an uptick in Nigerian Breweries (NB). On the flip side, investor booked profit in oil & gas and industrial goods stocks, dragging the sector index down by 1.1 per cent apiece, due to losses in Mobil, Seplat and Wapco respectively.
After the trading sessions, 32 stocks gained against 23 decliners.
May&Baker, Skye Bank and Unilever led gainers while the worst performers were Champion Breweries, Honeywell Flour Mills and Neimeth.
Analysts with Afrinvest Limited said that they expect investor sentiment to remain strong in the near term against the backdrop of upswing in macroeconomic factor drivers. “Yet, investors have to keep an eye on short term downside risks to market performance, which include the unfolding developments in the oil market as well as the CBN’s FX policies,” they said.