Investors Mop up Banking Stocks Ahead of Q1’22 Earnings Update
**As Access Bank, CAP, Others Lift Exchange by 0.02%
By Dipo Olowookere
The Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited had a lucky escape from the bears on Wednesday when it closed 0.02 per cent higher on the back of buying interest in shares with good fundamentals.
It was observed that investors cherry-picked equities with possible price appreciation in the next few weeks as the market gets ready for the release of first-quarter earnings from next week.
Though the market breadth was at equilibrium with 16 price gainers and 16 price losers, shares from banking, energy and industrial goods sectors lifted the bourse as they closed higher by 0.25 per cent, 0.11 per cent and 0.08 per cent respectively, while the insurance counter dropped 0.18 per cent, with the consumer goods sector closing flat.
At the close of transactions, the All-Share Index (ASI) rose by 7.38 points to 47,163.94 points from 47,156.56 points, while the market capitalisation increased by N4 billion to N25.419 trillion from N25.415 trillion.
CAP topped the gainers’ log at the midweek session after its value rose by 10.00 per cent to N19.80 and was deputised by Learn Africa, which gained 9.60 per cent to N2.17.
Champion Breweries expanded by 9.09 per cent to N2.04, Sterling Bank grew by 3.95 per cent to N1.58, while Conoil leapt by 2.92 per cent to N24.70.
As for the losers’ chart, it was led by FCMB which dropped 8.72 per cent to trade at N3.35 and was trailed by Mutual Benefits Assurance, which lost 7.41 per cent to settle at 25 kobo.
ABC Transport depreciated by 6.25 per cent to 30 kobo, Pharma-Deko went down by 5.98 per cent to N1.73, while FTN Cocoa depreciated by 5.88 per cent to 32 kobo.
Unlike the preceding session, the activity level was low as the trading volume dropped 11.86 per cent to 267.5 million shares from 303.4 million shares, the trading value fell by 17.61 per cent to N3.2 billion from N3.9 billion and the number of deals declined by 11,20 per cent to 4,099 deals from 4,616 deals.
It was observed that Fidelity Bank recorded the highest volume of trades, selling 68.8 million shares valued at N219.2 million, with Access Bank trading 38.6 million stocks valued at N384.1 million.
Furthermore, UBA transacted 30.9 million equities worth N236.1 million, GTCO exchanged 24.0 million shares valued at N622.0 million, while Zenith Bank traded 12.6 million for N339.0 million.