Equities Open the Week Bearish

Similar to the previous week, the All Share Index opened the week bearish, sustaining the negative sentiment from the previous trading session. The benchmark index declined 0.8% to settle at 25,600.64 points whilst YTD loss worsened to -4.7%. Today’s performance was broadly shaped by sell-offs in Industrial Goods and Banking bellwethers including DANGCEM (-1.8%), UBA (-4.0%) and ZENITH (-1.5%). Accordingly, investors lost N69.6bn as market capitalization closed at N8.8tn. Similarly, activity level waned as volume and value traded declined 0.4% and 29.5% to settle at 144.1m units and N863.1m respectively with a total of 2,597 deals.

All Sectors Close in the Red Save for the Consumer Goods Index
All indices under our coverage closed in the red, save for the Consumer Goods index which emerged lone gainer, up a marginal 2bps on account of price appreciation in NIGERIAN BREWERIES (+0.3%) and DANGSUGAR (+0.7%). On the other hand, the Banking and Insurance indices topped sector losers, down 1.0% apiece as investors sold-off UBA (-4.0%), ZENITH (-1.5%), MANSARD (-4.6%) and WAPIC (-2.0%). The Industrial Goods index trailed, depreciating 0.9% as a result of negative sentiment towards DANGCEM (-1.8%). Losses in TOTAL (-2.2%) and OANDO (-1.0%) dragged the Oil & Gas index 0.5% lower.

Investor Sentiment Remains Soft
Investor sentiment remained soft as market breadth remained decidedly negative at 0.3x consequent on 8 gaining stocks and 25 decliners. UCAP (+4.8%), LIVESTOCK (+4.0%) and AIICO (+1.7%) topped the gainers chart while the worst performers were UAC-PROP (-9.3%), AIRSERVICE (-9.1%) and GLAXOSMITH (-5.0%).

Afrinvest Research, in its dealers' perception note, stated that “the bearish market performance remains driven by expectations of uninspiring corporate earnings releases, and we expect market to trade sideways in subsequent sessions. However, we do not rule out the possibility of bargain hunting considering the benchmark index has recorded losses on 4 of the last 5 trading sessions.”