In a remarkable turn of events, the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) achieved a significant milestone as its All-Share Index (ASI) surged to an unprecedented level of 68,279.14, marking a 1.11% increase. This achievement surpasses the previous record of 66,371.20 points set on March 5, 2008, following a prior all-time high of 66,490.34 points.
The exceptional performance was primarily attributed to the remarkable surge in banking stocks, with leading financial institutions such as Zenith Bank and GTCO leading the charge. Investors strategically positioned themselves to capitalize on the recent impressive earnings reports released by select banks over the weekend. Additionally, the demand for shares in BUA Foods contributed to this positive market sentiment.
As a result of this surge, the market capitalization experienced a notable increase of N411 billion, closing at N37.369 trillion compared to the previous figure of N36.958 trillion. This remarkable performance pushed the year-to-date (YTD) return to an impressive 33.22%.
Despite this overall positive trend, sectoral performance within the market was mixed. The Banking Index, boasting a significant gain of 5.65%, was at the forefront, driven by strong performances from Zenith Bank and GTCO. The Consumer Goods Index also posted gains at 1.57%, while the Insurance (-2.81%) and Industrial Index (-0.14%) faced losses. Meanwhile, the NGX Oil and Gas Index remained stable.
Market activity witnessed a substantial uptick, with trading volume surging by 67.88% to 845.680 million units, and the value of stocks traded increased by 88.56% to reach N13.03 billion. This was evident in 11,934 deals, compared to the previous session’s 503.74 million units, N6.91 billion in value, and 7,606 deals.
Notably, Zenith Bank led the activity chart with 75.411 million shares sold, valued at N2.79 billion. GTCO followed closely with the sale of 54.80 million shares worth N2.20 billion, while Dangote Sugar transacted 20.85 million shares valued at N1.38 billion.
Market breadth ended on a positive note, with 38 stocks experiencing gains in value, while 19 stocks saw a decline. Dangote Sugar emerged as the top gainer with an impressive 10% increase in stock value. Conversely, Chip Plc led the group of declining securities, with a 9.57% decrease in stock value.
Financial analysts reacted to this strong market performance by attributing it to recent corporate actions. They anticipate that investors will continue to selectively invest in fundamentally strong stocks. However, they also acknowledge the possibility of profit-taking activities on stocks that have seen notable appreciation in recent weeks. Despite these considerations, analysts recommend that investors seek trading opportunities in fundamentally sound stocks, given the ongoing challenges posed by the weak macroeconomic environment on corporate earnings.