By Samuel Bankole
Nigeria’s equities rebounded on the trading floor of the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) on Wednesday as investors’ appetite for banking stocks lifted the All-Share Index (ASI), ending a two-day losing streak.
Investors in the nation’s equity market continued to focus on strong fundamentals, including the stellar half-year performance of many of the banking stocks listed on the Exchange.
The Nigerian equity market closed on a positive as the All Share Index increased by 0.93 percent to close at 67,378.88 points from 66,760.20 points recorded in the previous session..
The market cap of equities listed on the NGX increased to 36.877 trillion from 36.538 trillion at the previous close.
The total volume traded closed with an exchange of 569.627 million units valued at N8.70 billion traded in 8,404 deals.
The market breadth was positive, with 34 gainers as against 23 losers.
The shares of Access Corporation led the banking index up with a 9.77 percent increase, while the United Bank for Africa (UBA) rose by 9.78 percent, and Zenith Bank Plc added 0.74 percent, supporting the market.
Accordingly, the year-to-date (YTD) return increased to 31.47 percent. Performance across the sectors was bullish, with the banking sector appreciating by 4.58 percent, while the insurance index and consumer goods index rose by 2.27 percent and 1.27 percent, respectively.
On the flipside, the Oil and Gas Index fell by -0.12 percent, while the Industrial Goods Index dipped by -0.03 percent.
Oando Plc was the most active stock as it transacted 143.44 million units valued at N1.39 billion. AccessCorp sold 63.55 million units worth N1.07 billion, while Fidelity Bank transacted 39.55 million units valued at N31.37 million.
Meanwhile, the nation’s currency slipped on all fronts on Wednesday, with the naira trading at N758.12 to the dollar on the I&E forex window, down from N742.10 percent the previous day.
On the parallel market, the local currency closed at N945 to the greenback, compared with N930 per dollar it was exchanged for at the street market the previous day.
Also, there are signals that liquidity in the banking system is drying up as the interbank lending rate has continued to climb in the last week.
The overnight (O/N) rate increased by 0.90 percent to close at 23.70 percent, compared to 22.80 percent on the previous day.
The open repo (OPR) rate increased by 0.75 percent to close at 22.75 percent, compared to 22.00 percent on the previous day.
(Edited by Oludare Mayowa; email@example.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)