Equities market investors gained N409bn in the past week as the Nigerian Exchange Limited saw a marginal increase in trading activities with the All-Share Index rising by 1.12 per cent week-on-week to reach 67,200.69 points.
Market capitalisation of listed equities also increased by 1 per cent week-on-week to reach N36.919tn and the year-to-date return of the ASI rose to 31.12 per cent.
Analysts at Cowry Assets Management Limited in their weekly report said, “Market remained in a consolidation range with low trading volume and a positive market breadth. The positive trend was driven by increasing expectations for the Q3 earnings season, despite macroeconomic policy uncertainties and corporate announcements of closed periods.”
In the week under review, four out of five trading sessions were bullish which resulted in the N409bn gains primarily driven by positive price movements in the Industrial goods index.
Sectoral performance was mostly positive as all other indices finished higher with the exception of NGX Consumer Goods, NGX Banking, NGX AFR Bank Value, NGX MERI Growth and NGX Sovereign Bond which depreciated by 0.16 per cent, 0.78 per cent, 0.94 per cent, 0.32 per cent and 0.56 per cent respectively while the NGX Premium and NGX ASeM indices closed flat.
In terms of trade, over 1.470 billion shares worth N24.431bn were traded in 29,683 deals by investors on the floor of the exchange, compared to 2.410 billion shares valued at N22.115bn that exchanged hands the previous week in 27,965 deals.
The Financial Services Industry (measured by volume) led the activity chart with 929.631 million shares valued at N12.948bn traded in 13,626 deals; thus contributing 63.25 per cent and 53.00 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively. The Healthcare Industry followed with 171.236 million shares worth N334.792m in 452 deals.
The third place was the Oil and Gas Industry, with a turnover of 90.156 million shares worth N5.099bn in 2,769 deals.
The top three stocks for the week include Access Holdings Plc, Neimeth International Pharmaceutical Plc and Fidelity Bank Plc (measured by volume) which accounted for 502.843 million shares worth N4.388bn exchanged in 3,117 deals, contributing 34.21 per cent and 17.96 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.
Some stocks, that displayed exceptional performance, with strong investor interest include BUA Cement, CHI Plc, Nigerian Breweries and Dangote Sugar with their share prices rising by +13 per cent, +13 per cent, +9 per cent, and +7 per cent, respectively.
On the downside, Prestige, Presco, Ecobank Transnational and Sterling HoldCo were on the losers chart for the week as their prices declined by -10 per cent, -10 per cent, -5 per cent, and -5 per cent, week-on-week, respectively.
Analysts at both Cowry Research and Arthur Stevens Assets Management project a week of mixed sentiments in the market, driven by both bargain hunting and portfolio repositioning.
However, the inflation figure for September expected to be released by the National Bureau of Statistics this week will be on the radar of equity investors, in addition to the release of Q3 corporate earnings reports of listed companies.
During the past week, the Central Bank of Nigeria lifted the ban on forex provision for cement, milk, maize and 40 other items after an eight-year ban
This development comes days after Citigroup advised the apex bank to lift the ban in order to fix challenges plaguing the forex market. The CBN said the lifting of the embargo will boost liquidity in the forex market.
It is expected that the lifting of the ban will elicit positive reactions from foreign investors.