Oil stocks listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange rebounded on Thursday as the NSE Oil/Gas Index emerged the highest gainer with a 3.09 per cent increase.
The index, which slid by 2.99 per cent on Wednesday, reversed the losses it made with an extra 0.19 per cent gain due to bargain hunting in Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc and Conoil Plc.
Investors gained N35.8 billion at the end of trading on Thursday as the market capitalisation of equities listed on the Exchange increased from N11.215 trillion on Wednesday to N11.251 trillion on Thursday.
The All Share Index increased by 0.32 per cent to settle at 30,802.90 basis points, while the year-to-date loss improved to -19.5 per cent.
Investor sentiment further weakened to 0.8x from the 1.3x recorded on Wednesday as 17 stocks appreciated against 22 decliners.
Performance across sectors was largely bullish as three sectors closed in the green.
The NSE Insurance Index gained 2.63 per cent as a result of price appreciation recorded in Continental Reinsurance Plc and Law Union and Rock Insurance Plc.
The NSE Industrial Index rose by 1.14 per cent on the back of major gains recorded by Dangote Cement Plc.
On the flip side, the NSE Banking Index declined by 1.61 per cent as a result of sell-offs in Union Bank Nigeria Plc and Access Bank Plc.
Similarly, the NSE Consumer Goods Index shed 0.25 per cent on the back of losses recorded by Nestlé Nigeria Plc and Nigerian Breweries Plc.
However, the activity level was mixed as the volume traded increased by 171.5 per cent to 545.980 million units, while value traded reduced by 0.2 per cent to N4.089 billion.
The top traded stocks by volume were Union Diagnostic & Clinical Services Plc (274.2 million units), Access Bank (61.9 million units) and Zenith Bank Plc (37.3 million units), while Zenith Bank (N838.5m), Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (N711.8m) and Access Bank (N473.3m) were the top traded stocks by value.
The top five gainers were NEM Insurance Plc, Unity Bank Plc, Berger Paints Plc, Diamond Bank and Jaiz Bank Plc, which saw their respective share prices gain 10 per cent, 10 per cent, 9.79 per cent, 9.60 per cent and 8.70 per cent.
The top five losers were Union Diagnostic, Union Bank, Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc, UACN Property Development Company Plc and Access Bank, whose share prices depreciated by 7.69 per cent, 6.67 per cent, 6.56 per cent, 6.54 per cent and 6.33 per cent, respectively.
“In line with our expectation, we observed some buying interest in bellwethers, which drove market performance in today’s trading session,” Analysts at Afrinvest Securities Limited said.
They added, “We, therefore, expect this bullish performance to be moderated by some profit-taking activities particularly in the bellwethers while maintaining a cautious outlook in the near term.”