Bargain Hunting Drives Equities Market Performance

The local bourse rebounded as the All Share Index (ASI) rose by 5bps to settle at 40,777.67 on Thursday while YTD return remained unchanged at 6.6%. In addition, investors gained N49.5bn in value as market capitalization advanced to N14.8tn. Today’s bullish performance was largely due to buying interest in NIGERIAN BREWERIES (+1.8%), UNILEVER (+3.6%) and OANDO (+5.2%). Similarly, activity level strengthened as volume and value traded increased 8.0% and 36.0% to 378.2m units and N6.3bn respectively. The top traded stocks by volume were GUARANTY (63.5m), DIAMOND (59.7m) and FBNH (42.8m) while GUARANTY (N2.8bn), FBNH (N515.1m) and FLOURMILL (N474.7m) topped the chart by value.

Consumer Goods Index Emerges Lone Gainer
Overall sector performance was bearish as all indices under our watch closed in the red save the Consumer Goods index which trended northwards. The Insurance index led laggards down 0.5%, following losses in CONTINSURE (-4.0%). The Industrial Goods and Banking indices trailed closely, depreciating 0.4% and 0.3% on account of sell offs in WAPCO (-0.9%) and UBA (-1.7%) respectively while the Oil & Gas index shed 0.2% as a result of losses in ETERNA (-1.5%), 11PLC  (-1.2%) and FORTE (-0.3%). On the positive side, the Consumer Goods index appreciated 0.8% on the back of bargain hunting in NIGERIAN BREWERIES (+1.8%) and UNILEVER (+3.6%).

Investor Sentiment Weakens
Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) worsened to 0.5x from 1.1x recorded in the preceding session as 14 stocks advanced against 26 that declined. The top performing stocks were OANDO (+5.2%), OKOMUOIL (+5.0%) and CILEASING (+4.7%) while NPFMCRFBK (-8.9%), JAIZBANK (-8.0%) and TRANSCORP (-5.0%) were the worst performing stocks. In line with expectation, market closed in the green as investors’ value and activity level improved. Thus, we anticipate this positive performance to be sustained in the near term following bargain hunting and investors reaction to Q1:2018 results.