Dangote Cement Spurs Market Performance, Equities Gain N59bn
The Nigerian stock market, on Thursday, appreciated by N59bn, boosted mainly by Dangote Cement Plc shares.
It recovered from Wednesday’s negative performance as the All-Share Index rose by 0.26 per cent to 44,460.18 basis points from 44,343.65 basis points.
The Nigerian Stock Exchange year-to-date return advanced to 16.3 per cent as market capitalisation increased to N15.954tn from N15.895tn.
Equities’ performance was largely driven by gains in Dangote Cement, which appreciated by 1.9 per cent (ex-Dangote Cement, the market would have closed 23bps negative).
However, activity level declined as volume and value traded fell 3.3 per cent and 55.7 per cent to close at 630.582 million units and N3.442bn, respectively.
At the close of trading, performance across sectors was largely negative as four of the five major indices closed in losses.
Thus, the Insurance index was the biggest loser as it dropped by 0.9 per cent following sell offs in Wapic Insurance Plc and Law Union and Rock Insurance Plc, which slid by four per cent and 4.6 per cent, respectively.
The consumer goods index trailed, dropping by 0.4 per cent due to price depreciation in International Breweries Plc, Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc and Nigerian Breweries Plc, which declined by 4.8 per cent, 1.9 per cent and 0.1 per cent, accordingly.
The banking and oil/gas indices followed, depreciating by 0.1 per cent apiece as Access Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and Eterna Plc closed in red, shedding two per cent, 0.2 per cent and 4.5 per cent, respectively.
However, the industrial goods index was the lone gainer, appreciating by 0.7 per cent following gains in Dangote Cement and Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc, which rose respectively by 1.9 per cent and 4.8 per cent.
Investor sentiment softened compared to the previous trading session following gains on 22 stocks against 35 decliners. The top performing stocks were Aiico Insurance Plc, Unilever Nigeria Plc and University Press Plc, which gained by 8.8 per cent, 5.1 per cent and 4.8 per cent, accordingly while the worst performers were Lasaco Assurance Plc, African Alliance Insurance and Livestock Feeds Plc, which declined respectively by 9.5 per cent, 8.3 per cent and 4.9 per cent.
Commenting on the state of the equities market, analysts at Afrinvest Securities, in a post, said, “Although the market performed positively today, we expect more profit taking at the close of the week as investor sentiment remains weak.”