Bulls’ dominance seen as investors set for interim dividends in HY releases
SPURRED BY THE NEWS of a significant and steady growth in national output by 5.01 percent, the local equities market closed in the green last week, recording mild gains of N1.4 billion on all trading sessions with the exception of Monday and Wednesday, which drove the benchmark index to close the week higher by 0.01 percent to 39,485.65 points.
The market year to date return improved to -1.9 percent, while market capitalisation elevated to N20.572 trillion from N20.571 trillion at the close of the previous week.
Following the release of impressive results from banks, analysts at Afrinvest Securities and Vetiva Capitals have maintained that the bulls will likely maintain dominance on the local bourse, adding that market activities would improve largely on the back of increased demand in the Tier1 banking names and interim dividend declaration while market investors position themselves for interim dividends from half-year releases.
Going further into the market, the level of trading activity was mixed as the average volume traded increased 18.2 percent to 204.9 million units while the average value tanked 33.3 percent to N1.6 billion.
Leading the chat of the most traded securities by volume last week were Sovereign Trust Insurance (89.9m units), Chams Plc (55.8m units), and Mutual Benefits Assurance (45.9m units), while MTN Nigeria (N922.2m), Nestle Plc (N612.3m), and Lafarge Africa (N557.7m) led the log of most traded stocks by value.
Relatively, the level of market performance across the sectoral front improved as all the major market indices recorded upticks save the consumer goods (-0.4%) and industrial goods (-0.2%) indices, respectively, which recorded losses resulting from sell-offs in Unilever Plc (-10.0%), PZ Cussons (-4.2%), and Lafarge Africa (-3.1%), which contributed immensely to the indices downturn.
In the meantime, the insurance index led the gainers’ table, up 1.1 percent week on week due to price appreciation in Regency Alliance Insurance (+14.3%) and Linkage Assurance (+3.3%). As banks continue with the release of impressive half-year earnings, the banking index gained 0.3 percent week on week following the level of buying interest witnessed in Zenith Bank (+0.4%) and Ecobank (+2.8%). Also, the ICT and oil & gas indices appreciated 0.2 percent and 0.1 percent, respectively, from the prior week as MTN Nigeria (+0.3%) and Eterna Plc (+18.1%) gained.
Last week saw 31 stocks gain, while 28 stocks lost, resulting from a solidified investment which, measured by market breadth, moved up to 1.1x from the 1.0x recorded in the previous week; as Morrison Industries (+32.1%), FTN Cocoa Processors (+20.0%), and Transnational Corporation Hotels (+19.9%) led the top gainers while ABC Transport Company (-15.4%), Unilever Plc (-10.0%), and Ikeja Hotel (-10.0%) led the losers’ table.
As for the NGX 30 index last week, it shed marginally by 0.25 percent week on week to close at 1,629.18 points after opening the week at 1,633.23 points. Market turnover for the week closed with a traded volume of 69.86 million units as Dangote Sugar and Flour Mills led the key gainers, while Unilever and Nascon were the key losers.w