The Nigerian stock market started the week in gain after 32 stocks appreciated, leading to a N229bn rise in the Nigerian Stock Exchange market capitalisation.
The NSE All-Share Index gained 1.5 per cent on Monday to settle at 43,513.93 from 42,876.23 basis points while year-to-date return also grew to 13.8 per cent.
The NSE market capitalisation closed at N15.632tn from N15.403tn, and the positive performance was driven majorly by price appreciations in Dangote Cement Plc, Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc by 3.8 per cent, 8.6 per cent and 1.8 per cent, accordingly.
The top-performing stocks were Caverton Offshore Support Group Plc, Japaul Oil and Maritime Services Plc and First Aluminium Nigeria Plc, which gained 10 per cent, 9.5 per cent and 8.9 per cent, respectively while Regency Alliance Insurance Company Plc, Learn Africa Plc and Unic Diversified Holdings Plc emerged as the worst-performing stocks, dropping accordingly by 8.3 per cent, 4.9 per cent and 4.6 per cent.
However, activity level weakened as volume and value traded fell by 37.5 per cent and 37.1 per cent to 252.045 million units and N5.745bn, respectively.
The equities’ performance across sectors was largely positive as all the major indices advanced. The oil/gas index was the top gainer, as it appreciated by 4.8 per cent following buying interest in Seplat and Total Nigeria Plc, which gained 8.6 per cent and 4.7 per cent, accordingly.
The appreciation in Seplat stocks could be attributable to positive investor sentiment to the company’s impressive full-year 2017 earnings report as well as its recent “B2 with Stable Outlook” credit rating by Moody’s Rating Agency.
The industrial goods index followed, advancing by 2.2 per cent due to price appreciations in Dangote Cement and Lafarge Africa Plc, which were up respectively by 3.8 per cent and 0.4 per cent, accordingly.
The insurance index gained 0.8 per cent boosted by price appreciations in Continental Reinsurance Plc and NEM Insurance Nigeria Plc by 4.9 per cent apiece while the banking and consumer goods indices appreciated by 0.4 per cent and 0.02 per cent following gains in GTBank, Access Bank Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc, Unilever Nigeria Plc and Honeywell Flour Mill Plc, which recorded price increases of 1.8 per cent, 1.1 per cent, five per cent, five per cent and 1.9 per cent, accordingly.
Investor sentiment improved at the close of Monday’s trading compared to that of Friday following the 32 advancers compared to 25 losers.
“Following improved investor sentiment, we expect performance in subsequent sessions to remain largely positive though we anticipate market movement to be determined by investor reaction to companies earnings results,” analysts at Afrinvest Securities said in a post while reacting to Monday’s positive outing.