Equities Buck Gaining Streak

Photo L-R: Oscar Onyema, Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) presenting a gong to Ibrahim Magu, Ag. Chairman, Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) at the EFCC visit to The Nigerian Stock Exchange today.

The Nigerian equities market bucked a 7-day gaining streak at the close of trade today as investors booked profit on blue-chip stocks. The All Share Index (ASI) fell 0.1% to close at 38,102.85 points whilst the YTD return moderated to 41.8%. As a result, market capitalization decreased by N14.2bn to settle at N13.1tn. Today’s performance was largely dragged by sell-offs in Tier-1 banking stocks including ZENITH (-2.0%) and GUARANTY (-1.2%) which offset gains in STANBIC (+3.9%), NESTLE (+1.3%) and UNILEVER (+5.0%). Market activity was mixed as volume traded rose 10.4% to 362.7m units while value traded dipped 8.3% to N5.6tn.

Consumer Goods Index Emerges Lone Gainer
Performance across sectors was broadly bearish as all indices closed in the red save for the Consumer Goods index which advanced 0.4% on the back of gains in NESTLE (+1.3%), UNILEVER (+5.0%) and GUINNESS (+4.0%). The Oil & Gas index led sector losers, dipping 2.3% on account of sustained losses in FORTE (-9.7%) and OANDO (-5.0%). The Banking index followed, down 1.0% due to declines in GUARANTY (-1.2%) and ZENITH (-2.0%) while the Industrial Goods index closed the day flat.

Investor Sentiment Further Wanes
Investor sentiment at the close of trade today further waned to 0.7x against 0.9x recorded yesterday as 20 stocks advanced while 27 declined. The best performing stocks for today were UNILEVER (+5.0%), BOCGAS (+4.9%) and CONOIL (+4.4%) while the worst performers were FORTE (-9.7%), OANDO (-5.0%) and NASCON (-5.0%). As noted yesterday, the moderation in market breadth suggests profit taking in stocks that had witnessed continuous appreciation in previous trading sessions. Notwithstanding, we envisage the market will close the week in the green following yet another stellar half year result from ZENITH. The Tier-1 bank grew gross earnings by 77.1% Y-o-Y to N380.4bn while PAT nearly doubled, surging 112.1% Y-o-Y to N75.3bn.