Losses in Bellwethers Drag Equities Market Performance

The 2-day positive run in the local bourse came to a halt on Thursday as the All Share Index (ASI) shed 10bps to close at 40,813.69 points while YTD return moderated to 6.7%. Resultantly, investors lost N13.6bn in value as market capitalization fell to N14.7tn. The bearish performance today was largely on the back of losses in market bellwethers - DANGCEM (-0.8%), UNILEVER (-3.5%) and ZENITH (-1.0%). Activity level softened as volume and value traded fell 44.1% and 41.4% to 205.3m units and N3.1bn respectively. The top traded stocks by volume in today’s trading session were UBA (30.2m), ZENITH (28.1m) and GUARANTY (21.8m) while GUARANTY (N938.2m), ZENITH (727.9m) and UBA (328.4m) were the top traded stocks by value.

Consumer Goods Sector Emerges Lone Loser
Performance across sectors was broadly bullish despite the overall negative performance as 4 of 5 indices under our coverage closed in the green. The Insurance index was the top performer, inching 0.5% as gains in CONTINSURE (+5.0%), WAPIC (+1.9%) and PRESTIGE (+4.3%) buoyed performance. The Oil & Gas index followed closely, gaining 0.5% following upticks in 11PLC (+4.2%). Similarly, price appreciation in WAPCO (+0.8%) pushed the Industrial Goods index 0.1% northwards while the Banking index closed today’s trading session 3bps higher consequent on bargain hunting in ETI (+4.8%), WEMA (+9.1%) and STERLING (+5.1%). On the flipside, the Consumer Goods index was the lone decliner, shedding 3bps due to profit taking in INTBREW (-0.7%) and UNILEVER (-3.5%). 

Investor Sentiment Weakens
Investor sentiment measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) weakened from 1.4x recorded in the previous session to 0.9x as 20 stocks advanced against 23 stocks that declined. The top performing stocks were OANDO (+10.0%), WEMA (+9.1%) and SKYE (+8.8%) while COURTVILLE (-9.1%), JAPAULOIL (-7.0%) and HMARKINS (-6.1%) were the worst performing stocks. Despite the bearish performance in today’s session, we expect bargain hunting to continue to drive positive market performance in the near term as attractive entry opportunities remain in the market.