By Habibat Aliu
Sustained buying interest ahead of more scorecards continued last week, as the Nigerian capital market extended its gains for the third consecutive week. The increase in stocks pushed the all-share index and market capitalisation up by 0.5 per cent and N145 billion to close at 55,794.51 points and N30.395 trillion respectively.
All other indices finished higher except NGX Main Board, NGX CG, NGX Banking, NGX Pension, NGX AFR Bank Value, NGX, and AFR Div. Yield, NGX MERI Growth, NGX MERI Value, NGX Consumer Goods, and, NGX Oil and Gas indices, which depreciated by 0.09.per cent, 0.74 per cent, 1.82 per cent, 0.57 per cent, 2.04 per cent, 0.57 per cent, 0.88 per cent, 1.91.per cent, 0.26 per cent and, 3.82 per cent respectively. The NGX ASeM index closed flat.
The sustained bullish trend was spurred mainly by buying interests in Dangote Cement (+3.6 per cent), MTNN (+1.3 per cent), and UBN (+2.3 per cent) despite uncertainties in the country’s political space.
Analysts linked the performance to investors’ bargain hunters and positioning in anticipation of improved full-year earnings and dividend declarations.
Cordros Capital said: “We expect market performance to be dominated by the bulls in the week ahead, as we expect investors to take positions in stocks with attractive dividend yields.
“However, we envisage an undulating pattern will emerge as intermittent profit-taking activities will likely persist.
“Overall, we advise investors to seek trading opportunities in only fundamentally justified stocks as the weak macro story remains a significant headwind for corporate earnings.”
Afrinvest said: “Despite the downbeat investor sentiment, we expect the market to trend upwards as investors continue to react to corporate earnings results.”
Chief Research Officer of Investdata Consulting, Ambrose Omodion, said: “We expect mixed sentiments and correction, just as investors’ position for dividend declared in expectation of more financials.
“Market players should target dividend-paying companies and defensive stocks to protect their portfolios ahead of the governorship election and post-dividend adjustment.
“As such, investors should take advantage of price correction. Also looking at the trends and events across the globe and domestically.”
Further breakdown of last week’s transactions showed that a turnover of one billion shares worth N20 billion was recorded in 18,650 deals by investors on the floor of the exchange, in contrast to a total of 1.9 billion shares valued at N18.4 billion that changed hands in 20,311 deals during the preceding week.
The financial services industry (measured by volume) led the activity chart with 414.4 million shares valued at N5.6 billion traded in 8,136 deals; thus contributing 40.5 per cent to total equity turnover volume.
The conglomerate industry followed with 307.9 million shares worth N479.5 million in 1,122 deals. The industrial goods industry ranked third with a turnover of 104.2 million shares worth N10.4 billion in 1,334 deals.
Trading in the top three equities namely Transnational Corporation Plc, Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc and BUA Cement Plc (measured by volume) accounted for 447.8 million shares worth N9.6 billion in 2,018 deals, contributing 43.76 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.
A total of 11,382 units of exchange-traded products valued at N1.9 million were traded in 74 deals compared with a total of 30,547 units valued at N7.299 million transacted in 50 deals on March 3, 2023.
Also, 54,802 units valued at N55.699 million were traded this week in 14 deals compared with a total of 39,151 units valued at N37.062 million transacted last week in 17 deals.