The equities market sustained a positive performance at the close of last week as the All-Share Index gained 0.3 per cent week-on-week to close at 25,267.82 points. Consequently, market capitalisation grew by N32.9bn to peak at N13.2tn, while year-to-date loss improved to -5.9 per cent at the end of the week.
Activity level improved as average volume and value traded rose 39.3 per cent and 41.6 per cent to 418.5m units and N4.5bn respectively. The most traded stocks by volume were FBNH (318.6m units), Zenith (161.7m units) and Guaranty Trust Bank (160.1m units), while GTB (N3.9bn), Zenith (N2.0bn) and Dangote Cement (N1.8bn) led by value. Performance across sectors was bullish w/w as five of six indices under our coverage gained, save the oil and gas index which lost 0.3 per cent.
The insurance and industrial goods indices topped the gainers, recording respective gains of 3.7 per cent and 3.1 per cent following price appreciation in Mansard (+18.7 per cent ), Custodian (+7.7 per cent) and BUA Cement (+7.7 per cent). Similarly, the consumer goods (+2.3 per cent), AFR-ICT (+0.5 per cent) and banking (+0.4 per cent) indices gained, following price upticks in Guinness (+12.7 per cent), Cadbury (+10.2 per cent), MTNN (+0.9 per cent), Sterling Bank (+3.0 per cent) and FBNH (+2.9 per cent).
Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth weakened to 1.6x from 6.8x last week as 32 stocks gained against the 20 that lost. Neimeth (+31.4 per cent), Mansard (+18.7 per cent) and Cutix (+14.7 per cent) recorded the best performance, while Regalins (-13.0 per cent), Learn Africa (-9.6 per cent) and ETI (-8.9 per cent) were the top losers. Analysts project that as a result, the weekly gain prospects for bargain hunting remain high this week.