The equities market rebounded yesterday, halting a seven-day losing streak to close higher. The market witnessed a free fall for seven days as investors locked in profits from an early year rally that saw prices hit new highs. However, barging hunting in banking and consumer goods sectors lifted the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) by 1.1 per cent to close at 42,171.80 yesterday. Similarly, market capitalisation added N166.4 billion to close at N15.1 trillion.
Stockrokers had on Tuesday said: “Market performance to remain soft in coming sessions with the possibility of a rebound at the end of the week, driven by bargain hunting.”
However, the rebound can largely be attributed to buying interest in Banking and Consumer counters with Zenith Bank (+5.0 per cent), United Bank for Africa (+6.3 per cent ) and Nestle (+1.9 per cent) weighing the most on performance.
But Skye Bank Plc led the gainers chart with 10 per cent trailed by FCMB Group Plc that garnered 9.8 per cent. Conversely, First Aluminum led the price losers with 9.1 per cent, trailed by LASACO Assurance Plc with a decline of 5.8 per cent.
Volume and value of trading also rose by 10.7 per cent and 28.1 per cent to 520.7 million shares and N4.7 billion respectively.
Commenting on the performance, analysts at Cordros Capital Limited said: “We expect appetite to remain strong, as investors continue to hunt bargains and take position ahead of Q4-17 earnings, amidst generally improving macroeconomic conditions.”
Also commenting, analysts at Meristem Securities Limited said: “The bullish charge in the market was led by gains recorded on counters in the banking and consumer goods sectors, which offset the loss on the market’s heavyweight, Dangote Cement Plc. We expect a continuation of the bargain hunting activities in the market and an improvement in the market mood to sustain the recovery in the near term.”
The NSE Banking Index led with a growth of 2.7 per cent, followed by the NSE Insurance Index and NSE Consumer Index that appreciated by 1.3 per cent and 1.0 per cent in that order.
Analysts at FSDH Merchant Bank had said the banking sector would remain top performer in 2018 to improve on its performance in 2017. “FSDH Research expects the continued improvement in the macroeconomic environment to boost the performance of the banking sector in 2018. We see investment opportunities for the tier two banks in the sector,” they said.