THE Nigerian equities market recorded its first gain on Friday after three straight days of losses since the beginning of this year.
The gain was largely on the back of gains across banking stocks.
A total of 602.047 million shares valued at N1.204bn exchanged hands in 2,150 deals.
The Nigerian Stock Exchange’s market capitalisation appreciated to N9.032tn from N9.018tn on Friday, as the NSE All-Share Index closed at 26,251.39 basis points from 26,212.09 basis points.
On the global front, European stocks traded lower as unimpressive Eurozone retail sales data dampened investor appetite. Meanwhile, the Japanese Nikkei closed in red with automakers leading losses amid a relatively stronger yen and Trump’s threat to slam Toyota with hefty taxes if it builds a plant outside the United States.
Futures on the US markets pointed to a flat open as traders await the release of non-farm payroll data.
At the NSE, the banking sector singlehandedly lifted the ASI courtesy of another positive run across tier-1 banks, including Access Bank Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, FBN Holdings Plc and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, appreciating by 2.28 per cent, 1.86 per cent, 1.74 per cent and 0.30 per cent, respectively and extended gains.
The oil and gas sector was the session’s underperformer following losses in Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc and Forte Oil Plc’s stocks by five per cent and 0.21 per cent, respectively.
The industrial goods sector also closed lower albeit marginally following a decline in Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc by 4.84 per cent. The consumer goods sector, however, closed relatively flat amid mixed performances by Guinness Nigeria Plc, which appreciated by 1.39 per cent, and Cadbury Nigeria Plc, which dropped by five per cent.
The market breadth turned negative with 14 advances and 20 declines.
“As expected, the ASI rode on the improving appeal for banking stocks to close positive. With the appeal still quite decent, coupled with waning bearish sentiment across other sectors, we expect the index to open higher in the week ahead,” analysts at Vetiva Capital Management Limited said in a post.
Meanwhile, at the foreign exchange interbank market, the naira remained unchanged at N305 and N378 against the dollar for the spot rate and one-year forward rate, respectively. Also, the interbank call rate moderated, advancing by 134 basis points to 8.33 per cent.
Bullish sentiment persisted in the Treasury bills market as yields moderated at 15 basis points on the average at week close.
The largest declines were observed on the 62 day-to-maturity, 188DTM, and 335DTM bills as they closed at 13.74 per cent, 18.21 per cent, and 21.05 per cent, respectively.