•Naira close N305.95 at the inter-bank rate •
The local bourse shook off losses from yesterday’s trading session as renewed buy interest in banking stocks drove the benchmark index 0.2 percent higher to settle at 36,688.91 points while year to date loss moderated to 4.1 percent.
Consequently, gains in Zenith Bank, UBA, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), Access Bank and Guaranty Trust Bank drove market performance.
As a result, investors gained N128.5 billion as market capitalisation grew to N13.4 trillion. Conversely, activity level weakened as volume and value traded declined 5.9 percent and 41.8 percent to 225.8 million units and N2.9 billion respectively.
Today’s top traded stocks by volume were NAHCO with 36.2 million, UBA with 28.7 million and FBN Holdings with 26.0 million shares while Guaranty Trust Bank N556.0 million, Nestle Nigeria N411.0 million and UBA p N270.9 million were the most traded stocks by value.
Across sectors, performance was mixed as 2 of 5 indices under our watch closed in the green. The Banking index rallied, up 2.4 percent, following buy interest in Zenith Bank (+2.6 percent), UBA (+5.9 percent), ETI (+2.3 percent), Access Bank (+3.1 percent) and Guaranty Trust Bank (+0.4 percent).
Similarly, the Insurance index rose 0.6 percent on the back of +8.3 percent gain in Continental Reinsurance, +7.7 percent in WAPIC Assurance, +9.1 percent in LASACO and +5.1 percent in Mutual Benefit Assurance. On the flipside, the Consumer Goods index closed in the red as a result of continued sell-offs in Nigerian Breweries and Guinness Nigeria.
The Industrial Goods and Oil & Gas indices trailed, down 0.5 percent and 0.3 percent respectively, largely due to losses in Dangote Cement, Lafarge Africa, Oando and Eterna Oil.
Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) strengthened to 1.4x from 0.9x recorded in the preceding session as 23 stocks advanced relative to 16 that declined.
The top gainers were Portland Paints, UAC-Property and LASACO while NSLTECH, Flour Miller Nigeria and Oando were the worst performers.
In the main time, the Naira at the inter-bank rate closed unchanged at N305.95, against yesterday’s closing price.
However, the Investors and Exporters (I&E) FX window opened at N361.91, traded high at N363.75 and eventually closed at N362.31, representing a 0.01 percent appreciation against yesterday’s closing price. A total of $90.14 million was transacted through the I&E window today.
Meanwhile, Overnight (O/N) rate closed at 4.25 percent, representing a 0.50 percent appreciation against yesterday’s closing position, while Open Buy-Back (OBB) rate closed at 3.33 percent representing a 0.42 percent appreciation against yesterday’s closing position.