Investors in the country’s stock market gained N84bn on Wednesday’s trading session as the market capitalisation of equities listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange increased to N11.257tn from N11.173tn recorded on Tuesday.
The All Share Index increased by 0.76 per cent to close at 29,970.86 basis points, compared with the 29,746.24 bps recorded on Tuesday.
Price appreciation in Nestlé Nigeria Plc continued while bargain hunting persisted in Dangote Cement Plc and Access Bank Plc.
Activity level weakened as volume and value traded declined by 32.8 per cent and 30.7 per cent to 216 million units and N3.2bn, respectively.
The top traded stocks by volume were Access Bank (39.2 million units), United Bank for Africa Plc (24.2 million units) Lasaco Assurance Plc (20.8 million units), Zenith Bank Plc (16.3 million) and First City Monument Bank Plc (10.9 million) while the top traded stocks by value were Nestlé (N1.5bn), Zenith Bank (N342.5m) Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (N311.6m), Access Bank (N259m) and UBA (N156.9m).
The sector performance was majorly negative as three out of five indices declined.
The oil and gas index shed the most, down by 1.4 per cent due to sell-offs witnessed in Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc.
Similarly, the industrial goods index declined by 0.4 per cent on the back of major losses recorded in Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc.
The banking index dipped by 0.2 per cent due to losses in GTB and Wema Bank Plc.
On the flip side, the consumer goods index emerged the biggest gainer, up by 2.7 per cent on the back of buying interest in Nestlé.
The insurance index increased by a marginal three basis points.
Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) took a negative turn to 0.9x from 2.1x recorded on Tuesday as 17 losers outnumbered 16 gainers.
The best-performing stocks were Access Bank, Chams Plc, First Aluminium Plc, A.G Leventis Plc and Nestlé, which saw respective gains of 9.92 per cent, 9.09 per cent, 8.57 per cent, 7.69 per cent and 5.31 per cent.
The top five losers were Trans-Nationwide Express Plc, UACN Property Development Company Plc, Associated Bus Company Plc, Learn Africa Plc and Wema Bank Plc, whose share prices shed 9.76 per cent, 9.64 per cent, 8.33 per cent, 8.22 per cent and 5.56 per cent, respectively.
“The relatively weak investor sentiment portends that the last trading session of the week may be dominated by profit-taking activities, especially in bellwethers that had recorded gains in previous sessions,” analysts at Afrinvest Securities Limited said.