The equities market of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) returned to the bull as market indices rebounded on Thursday to record its first gain of the week by 0.38 per cent on renewed bargain hunting.
Specifically, the market capitalisation rose by N50 billion or 0.38 per cent to close at N13.313 trillion from N13.263 trillion achieved on Wednesday.
Also, the All-Share Index improved by 96.06 per cent or 0.38 per cent to close at 25,520.97 basis points against 25,424.91 basis points reported on Wednesday.
The NSE 30 index increased by 0.43 per cent to close at 1,084.07 basis points against 1,079.43 basis points reported on Wednesday.
Sector performances were positive today as the Banking (+2.28 per cent), Consumer Goods (+0.08 per cent) and Industrial (+0.02 per cent) sectors all closed positive, while the Oil & Gas (-1.28 per cent) sector closed in red territory.
The upturn was impacted by gains recorded in large and medium capitalised stocks, amongst which are; Zenith Bank, MTN Nigeria Communications, Guaranty Trust Bank, C&I Leasing and Access Bank.
Capital market analysts noted that the local bourse recorded the first gain this week due to bargain in Zenith Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank and MTNN.
However, analysts at Afrinvest Limited expected the equities market to close the week on a bearish note.
A breakdown of the price movement chart indicates that 22 stocks gained in contrast with 12 laggards.
Eterna led the gainers’ chart in percentage terms, appreciating by 9.69 per cent to close at N2.49 per share.
C&I Leasing followed with 8.45 per cent to close at N3.85, while Wema Bank garnered 7.84 per cent to close at 55k per share. Japaul Oil increased by five per cent to close at 21k, while Chams appreciated by 4.76 per cent to close at 22k per share.
Conversely, Associated Bus Company led the losers’ chart in percentage terms, dropping 7.69 per cent to close at 36k per share.
Cornerstone Insurance came second with 7.58 per cent to close at 61k while Consolidated Hallmark Insurance shed 5.88 per cent to close at 32k per share.
Unity Bank dipped 5.56 per cent to close at 51k, while FCMB Group lost 4.87 per cent to close at N2.15 per share.
Despite the growth in market indices, the volume of shares transacted declined by 12.29 per cent with an exchange of 236.48 million shares worth N1.65 billion in 3,251 deals.
This was against a turnover of 269.63 million shares valued at N2.87 billion traded in 4,155 deals on Wednesday.
Transactions in the shares of Zenith Bank topped the activity chart with 33.16 million shares worth N546.75 million.
Fidelity Bank followed with 29.97 million shares valued at N52.65 million, while Mutual Benefits Assurance sold 25.04 million shares worth N5.01 million.
Wema Bank traded 20.22 million shares valued at N11.03 million, while FBN Holdings transacted 20.06 million shares worth N100.29 million.
“The equities market closed up today on the back of the gains recorded in most sectors. While we expect that investor sentiments would largely be driven by reactions to H1 2020 results in the near term, we reiterate that this may be one of the best periods to pick up some quality names with a medium to long term investment horizon,” analysts at Investementone research added.