Bank stocks rise as market gains N112.9bn

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Bank stocks on the Nigerian Stock Exchange rallied on Monday, reversing some of the losses recorded in the last trading day in February.

The banking sector, which emerged the biggest loser on Thursday as it declined by 4.56 per cent, emerged the highest gainer on Monday.

The sector rose by 2.66 per cent at the end of trading on Monday as a result of the major gains recorded by Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and Zenith Bank Plc.

The nation’s stock market kick-started trading activities for the week on a positive note as the All Share Index gained 0.95 per cent, increasing from 31,827.24 basis points on Friday to 32,129.94bps on Monday, while the year-to-date return improved to 2.2 per cent.

Investors gained N112.9bn as the market capitalisation of equities listed on the NSE increased from N11.869tn on Friday to N11.982tn on Monday.

Activity level, however, weakened as 228.484 million shares valued at N2.615bn exchanged hands in 3,544 deals, compared to the 341.954 million shares valued at N3.752bn that exchanged hands in 4,513 deals on Friday.

The top traded stocks by volume were Diamond Bank Plc (33 million units), United Bank for Africa Plc (31.1 million units) and Zenith Bank Plc (28.9 million units) while the top traded stocks by value were Zenith Bank (N703.1m), Dangote Cement Plc (N510.8m) and GTB (N391.0m).

Performance across sectors was majorly positive as three sectors closed on a positive note.

The banking sector saw buying interest in GTB and Zenith Bank stocks.

The consumer goods sector was the second highest gainer, up by 0.43 per cent on the back of major gains recorded in International Breweries Plc.

The industrial goods sector increased by 0.31 per cent, buoyed by gains in Dangote Flour Mills Plc, Dangote Cement, Lafarge Africa Plc and Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc.

On the flip side, the insurance sector emerged the biggest loser for the day as a result of losses recorded in NEM Insurance Plc and Law Union and Rock Insurance Plc, while the oil and gas sector remain unchanged.

Investor sentiment, as measured by the market breadth (advance/decline ratio), stood at 0.3x as 25 firms gained against the 10 losers that emerged.

The top five gainers were Mcnichols Plc, Cutix Plc, NPF Microfinance Bank Plc, Wema Bank Plc and Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc, whose respective share prices gained 9.80 per cent, 9.76 per cent, 9.72 per cent, 9.09 per cent and 8.70 per cent.

The top five losers were PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc, Livestock Feeds Plc, Chi Plc, Law Union and Rock and United Capital Plc, which saw their share prices decline by 9.67 per cent, 8.96 per cent, 7.14 per cent, 5.45 per cent and 2.99 per cent, respectively.

Analysts at Afrinvest Securities Limited said the current bearish sentiment in the market was based on sell-offs triggered by foreign portfolio investors.

They noted that the pressures were preventing buying opportunities in fundamentally sound stocks.

“Nonetheless, we expect a bearish close tomorrow (today) as investor sentiment remains weak,” they added.

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