Heavy transactions in the shares of FBN Holdings Plc, Sterling Bank Plc and C & I Leasing PLC (measured by volume) lifted the volume of shares traded last week, as a total turnover of 2.6 billion shares worth N26.9 billion changed hands in 20,848 deals.

A breakdown of activities on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) last week indicated that the volume of shares traded was up from a total of 1.278 billion units worth N17.3 billion that was exchanged in 21,052 deals on December 3, 2021.

Specifically, trading in the top three equities accounted for 1.6 billion shares worth N14.8 billion in 1,646 deals, contributing 61.13 per cent to the total equity turnover.

On the sectoral performance, the financial services industry (measured by volume) led the activity chart with 2.234 billion shares valued at N21.4 billion traded in 11,482 deals, thus contributing 84.95 per cent to the total equity turnover volume.

The services industry followed with 157.089 million shares worth N695.8 million in 465 deals. The consumer goods industry ranked third with a turnover of 71.016 million shares worth N1.7 billion in 3,019 deals.

Further breakdown of last week’s trading showed that the local bourse extended its bearish trend for the second consecutive week following losses recorded by top cement player; Dangote cement Plc.

Consequently, the NGX All-Share index and market capitalisation depreciated by 0.7 per cent to close the week at 41,882.97 and N21.854 trillion respectively.

All other indices finished higher except NGX 30, NGX Premium, NGX Lotus II and NGX Industrial Goods indices which depreciated by 0.54 per cent, 2.25 per cent, 1.31 per cent and 5.42 per cent respectively while the NGX ASeM, NGX AFR Div Yield, and NGX Sovereign Bond Indices closed flat.

Analysts at Cordros Capital said: “In the week ahead, we expect the bulls to regain dominance in the market given the moderation in the prices of bellwether stocks in the last three weeks.

“However, we do not rule out the possibility of continued profit-taking activities. In addition, we believe the outcome of the bond auction scheduled to hold during the week will also shape market sentiments.”

“Notwithstanding, we advise investors to take positions in only fundamentally justified stocks as the unimpressive macro story remains a significant headwind for corporate earnings.”

Afrinvest Research said: “In the coming week, we expect market performance to be a mix of profit-taking and bargain hunting activities.”

Vertiva Dealings and Brokerage said: “With the market returning to positive territory on Friday, activity was boosted by demand for stocks in the banking sector, particularly GTCO, Zenith, ACCESS and ETI, while a broader market also had investors buy up fundamentally sound stocks with beaten-down prices.

“We expect the ASI to inch up further at the beginning of next week amid the resurgence of buy-side activity.”

A total of 32,269 units of bonds valued at N32.476 million were traded last week in 17 deals compared with a total of 3,344 units valued at N3.603 million transacted in seven deals during the preceding week.

Thirty-five equities appreciated during the week, higher than 18 equities in the previous week.

Twenty-seven equities depreciated, lower than 49 equities in the previous week, while 94 equities remained unchanged higher than 89 equities recorded in the previous week.