Banking stocks on Monday rallied to reverse some of the losses recorded in the last trading day in February on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, closing on a positive note.
Though it emerged the biggest loser on Thursday, after declining 4.56 percent, the banking sector came tops on Monday, rising by 2.66 percent.
This performance of the sector is attributable to the major gains recorded by Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and Zenith Bank Plc.
The All Share Index gained 0.95 per cent, increasing from 31,827.24 basis points on Friday to 32,129.94bps on Monday, while the year-to-date return improved to 2.2 per cent.
Market capitalization of stocks listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange increased from N11.869 trillion on Friday to N11.982 trillion on Monday, as investors gained N112.9 billion.
Activity level, however, weakened as 228.484 million shares valued at N2.615bn exchanged hands in 3,544 deals, compared to the 341.954 million shares valued at N3.752bn that exchanged hands in 4,513 deals on Friday.
Top traded stocks by volume were Diamond Bank Plc (33 million units), United Bank for Africa Plc (31.1 million units) and Zenith Bank Plc (28.9 million units) while the top traded stocks by value were Zenith Bank (N703.1m), Dangote Cement Plc (N510.8m) and GTB (N391.0m).
Performance across sectors was majorly positive as three sectors closed on a positive note.
The banking sector saw buying interest in GTB and Zenith Bank stocks, while consumer goods sector was the second highest gainer, up by 0.43 per cent on the back of major gains recorded in International Breweries Plc.
Also, the industrial goods sector increased by 0.31 per cent, prodded by gains in Dangote Flour Mills Plc, Dangote Cement, Lafarge Africa Plc and Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc.
However, the insurance sector emerged the biggest loser for the day as a result of losses recorded in NEM Insurance Plc and Law Union and Rock Insurance Plc, while the oil and gas sector remain unchanged.
Investor sentiment, as measured by the market breadth (advance/decline ratio), stood at 0.3x as 25 firms gained against the 10 losers that emerged.
Mcnichols Plc, Cutix Plc, NPF Microfinance Bank Plc, Wema Bank Plc and Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc, were the top five gainers as their respective share prices gained 9.80 per cent, 9.76 per cent, 9.72 per cent, 9.09 per cent and 8.70 per cent.
The losers were led by PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc, Livestock Feeds Plc, Chi Plc, Law Union and Rock and United Capital Plc, with their share prices declining by 9.67 per cent, 8.96 per cent, 7.14 per cent, 5.45 per cent and 2.99 per cent, respectively.