For the fourth straight session, Nigeria’s equities market closed in the green territory, following investors’ interest across major counters. Specifically, the benchmark index notched higher by 0.16 per cent to 30,821.80 points on Wednesday.
Against that backdrop, the Month-to-Date gain increased to 0.87 per cent, while the Year-to-Date loss dipped to -2.09 per cent.
Across sectoral indices, the Banking (+0.57%), Consumer Goods (+1.25%), and Insurance (+0.48%) indices closed positive, driven by interest in GUARANTY (+1.76%), NESTLE (+2.82%), and AIICO (+6.06%) stocks respectively.
Meanwhile, the Industrial (-0.62%) and Oil & Gas (-0.13%) indices closed negative, on account of sell-offs in DANGCEM (-0.79%) and OANDO (-1.00%) stocks respectively.
Market breadth was positive with 18 gainers and 16 losers, led by LEARNAFRCA (+9.49%) and CUSTODIAN (-8.82%) stocks respectively. Elsewhere, total volume traded expanded sharply by 88.7 per cent to 359.09 million units, valued at NGN4.83 billion, and exchanged in 3,319 deals.
Analysts at Cordros Capital has this to say about the market performance: “In spite of the recent rallies, our outlook for equities in the near-to-medium term is negative, and we advise investors to trade cautiously amidst political uncertainties ahead of the 2019 elections, and the absence of a positive market trigger. However, positive macroeconomic fundamentals remain stable and supportive of recovery in the long term”.
In the currency market, the USD/NGN appreciated by 0.13 per cent to NGN361.72 at the I&E FX window, but depreciated by 0.28 per cent to NGN361.00 in the parallel market. Total turnover in the IEW increased significantly by 95.7 per cent to USD441.38 million, with trades executed within the NGN360.50-364.00/USD band.
On the back of the declining system liquidity, the overnight lending rate expanded by 92 bps to close at 21.83 per cent. The apex bank continued its aggressive liquidity mop-ups, selling a total of NGN66.02 billion – NGN19.42 billion of the 99DTM, NGN6.64 billion of the 190DTM, and NGN39.96 billion of the 330DTM – worth of bills, at stop rates of 11.90 per cent, 13.50 per cent and 15.00 per cent respectively.
Sentiments in the treasury bills market were bearish as average yield rose by 12bps to close at 14.44%. Yield at the mid (+31 bps) and long (+6 bps) segments expanded driven by selloffs of 99DTM (+185 bps) and 246DTM (+24 bps) bills, respectively. Conversely, demand for the 57DTM (-155 bps) bill led to yield contraction at the short (-11 bps) end of the curve.
Activities in the bond market were slightly bullish as yield declined by 3 bps, on average, to close at 14.90 per cent. Buy sentiment was spread across the short (-7 bps) and mid (-3 bps) segments, with yields on the FEB-2020 (-27 bps) and the FEB-2028 (-7 bps) bonds declining. Yield at the long end of the curve was flat.