Wednesday, April 17’s trading session posted its second bullish performance for the week as the NSE All Share Index (ASI) advanced 76 basis points to settle at 29,970.86 points.
The performance was buoyed by a significant rally in Access Bank shares which added 9.9% on account of an 86% growth in the bank’s profit after tax (PAT) for the first quarter (Q1) earnings ended 31 March, 2019 released on Tuesday.
Zenith Bank’s Q1 results released Wednesday showed a 7% growth in PAT of N50.2 billion while Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) grew PAT of N49.3 billion for the first quarter ended 31 March 2019, by 10%
Price appreciation in other heavily capitalised stocks such as Nestle which gained 5.3% and Dangote Cement that added 1.2% also aided the positive performance as market capitalisation grew by N84.4 billion to close the day at N11.3 trillion.
However, activity level weakened as volume and value traded declined 32.8% and 30.7% to 216.0m units and N3.2bn respectively.
The top traded stocks by volume were ACCESS (39.2m units), UBA (24.2m units) and LASACO (20.8m units) while the top traded stocks by value were NESTLE (N1.5bn), ZENITH (N342.5m) and GUARANTY (N311.6m).
The sector performance was mixed albeit negatively skewed as 3 out of 5 major indices declined. The Oil & Gas index shed the most, down 1.4% due to sell-offs on SEPLAT (-3.4%).
In the same vein, the Industrial Goods and Banking indices dipped 0.4% and 0.2% respectively due to losses on CCNN (-3.6%), GUARANTY (-2.4%) and WEMA (-5.6%). On the flip side, the Consumer Goods index was the best performer, up 2.7% on the back of buying interest in NESTLE (+5.3%) while the Insurance index closed flat marginally gaining 3bps.
Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) took a negative turn to 0.9x from 2.1x in the prior session as 16 stocks gained against 17 losers.
The best performing stocks were ACCESS (+9.9%), CHAMS (+9.1%) and FIRSTALUM (+8.6%) while the laggards were led by TRANSEXPR (-9.8%), UACPROP (-9.6%) and ABCTRANS (-8.3%).
According to analysts at Afrinvest, the relatively weak investor sentiment portends that the last trading session of the week may be dominated by profit taking activities especially in bellwethers that had recorded gains in previous sessions.