Stock market records first weekly gain in April

The nation’s stock market recorded its first weekly gain this month as the All Share Index closed at 30,086.31 basis points.

Investors in the market gained N222bn during the week as it recorded gains on three of four trading sessions.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange closed for the week on Thursday due to the public holiday declared by the Federal Government for Easter celebrations.

The stock market commenced the week on a negative note, as the ASI and market capitalisation lost 14bps and N24bn on Monday.

Subsequently, the market recorded gains on the remaining trading days of the week.

On Tuesday, bargain hunting activities drove the ASI and market capitalisation to a positive terrain, with a gain of 0.85 per cent and N94bn. The buying sentiment was sustained on Wednesday as investors gained N84bn and the broad equity market index recorded a gain of 0.76 per cent.

The ASI wrapped up the week with a positive close on Thursday, climbing 0.39 per cent as major sectoral indices closed in the green zone. Investors gained N43bn as the market capitalisation of equities listed on the NSE increased from N11.257tn from N11.300tn.

In the fixed income market, the Central Bank of Nigeria did not conduct any Open Market Operation auction last week. However, the apex bank conducted its bi-weekly primary market auction on Wednesday, selling the full offer of N57.8bn at stop rates of 10.15 per cent and 12.74 per cent across the 91-day and 182-day tenors.

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The open buy-back rate moderated by 10 per cent week-on-week to 9.86 per cent.

Trading in the secondary Treasury bills and bond markets, supported by system liquidity, was largely positive last week, with some pockets of sell pressure on select days.

Overall, average yields declined by nine basis points week-on-week in the Treasury bills space and 21 bps week-on-week on benchmark bonds.

The naira appreciated by one kobo week-on-week at the Importers’ and Exporters’ foreign exchange window to settle at N360.32 and remained flat week-on-week at N359 against the dollar in the parallel market.

The bond market was scantily traded, with yields relatively unchanged on the day, as market players wound up activities ahead of the Easter break.

Slight interest on the 2028 maturity was witnessed, which compressed marginally by about five bps, having traded lower at 14.47 per cent.

Analysts at Zedcrest Capital said, “Upon resumption from the break, we expect the market to open on a slightly weaker note, as market players shift focus to the FGN Bond auction scheduled to hold the following day, with about N100bn of the five-, 10 and 30-year bonds to be offered by the DMO.”

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“Barring a renewed OMO auction by the CBN, we expect yields to be relatively stable opening the new session, as demand interests persist, especially on the mid to long end of the curve.”

Analysts at Vetiva Capital Management Limited said with system liquidity still buoyant, it was expected that demand would remain decent in the T-bills market after the Easter break and domestic demand would further sustain activity in the bond market on Tuesday.

They said, “We expect the naira to remain largely stable across the various windows of the currency space as the CBN maintains interventions in the FX market.”

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