Following strong investors’ sentiment in the shares of Dangote Cement, Nigerian Breweries and Seplat, the last trading session of 2018 at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) closed on a positive note.
Consequently, the All-Share Index (ASI), which opened at 31,430.50 points, rose by 392.78 basis points or 1.27 per cent to settle at 31,430.50 points while market capitalisation increased by N383.6 billion from N11.337 trillion to close at N11.72 trillion.
As a result, the Year-to-Date (YtD) declined to -17.8 per cent. Activity level on the bourse, however, waned as volume and value of stocks traded fell by 29.1 and 3.3 per cent to 929.32 million units and N3.95 billion respectively, exchanged in 4,144 deals.
This is in contrast with 1.96 billion units and N6.54 billion, which changed hands in 4,082 deals on Friday. Performance was broadly positive across market sectors even as the Oil & Gas index (+3.7 per cent) led, following bargain hunting in Seplat (+8.0 per cent). Similarly, the Consumer Goods (+1.4 per cent) and Industrial Goods (+0.6 per cent) indices closed higher as investors positioned in Nigerian Breweries (+4.3 per cent) and Flour Mills Nigeria (+5.2 per cent).
The Insurance and Banking indices also closed higher by 0.4 and 0.3 per cent respectively, buoyed by price appreciation in Custodian (+7.6 per cent) and Diamond Bank (+9.6 per cent).
Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) strengthened to 1.8x from 0.7x recorded last Friday as 31 stocks appreciated compared with 17 decliners. The top performers were Vitafoam (+10.0 per cent), Champion (+9.9 per cent) and Diamond Bank (+9.6 per cent) while Stanbic IBTC (-10.0 per cent), Forte Oil (-9.9 per cent) and Neimeth (-9.3 per cent) declined the most.
Analysts at Afrinvest said, “as we anticipated, there was an overall positive performance. This was due to portfolio rebalancing actions by asset and portfolio managers. In the coming year, we expect the equities market to resume trading on a weak note while anticipating a post-election rally across all indices on the local bourse.”