The Nigerian stock market recorded a turnover of N1.6bn on 201 million shares. Value and volume of transactions were below February averages by 37 per cent and 66 per cent respectively at the close of trading on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Thursday.
Market breadth remained negative with 15 advances and 22 declines.
The NSE All Share Index and NSE 30 gained eight basis points apiece, putting year-to-date returns at -10.35 per cent and -12.37 per cent respectively.
The NSE ASI clinched a positive close even as trading across key sectors remained mixed. Asian markets traded in the green as investors cheered clarity from the Fed on its interest rate hiking path (projection for the number of hikes was cut from four to two for 2016).
European markets however traded in the red as investors continue to react to the downgrade in the United Kingdom’s growth and productivity rates for 2016 while the United States stock markets opened mixed ahead of a raft of economic data due.
Vetiva Research, in its daily report, said, “We expect bears to dominate trading in Friday’s (today) session despite positive earnings releases as we think some investors maybe selling into the strength of the earnings season given the generally weak outlook on the economy.
The financial services sector (-121bps) extended its losing streak as sector leaders Access Bank (-820bps), FBN Holdings Plc (-463bps), Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (-291bps) and Zenith Bank Plc (-65bps) remained under pressure.
The consumer goods sector (+105bps) however extended gains as an advance in bellwether Nigerian Breweries (+411bps) overwhelmed losses in Honeywell Flour Mill (-494bps), PZ Cussons Plc (-384bps) and Guinness Nigeria Plc (-138bps). Similarly, the industrial goods sector (+54bps) climbed into positive territory following an advance in heavy-weight Dangote Cement Plc (+61bps).
FBNH topped the volume chart trading 44 million units while Zenith Bank topped the value chart trading 31 million units worth N391m.