Mixed Performance as Index Sustains Bearish Trend

The equities market extended losses to the 4th consecutive session as the All Share Index (ASI) shed 0.5% to close at 35,464.34 points while YTD return retreated to 31.1%. As a result, market capitalization declined by N58.2bn to settle at N12.1tn. Today’s market performance was dragged by ZENITH (-0.5%), STANBIC (-2.9%) and OANDO (-4.9%). In the same vein, activity level moderated as volume and value traded plunged 69.3% and 72.7% to settle at 114.7m units and N1.6bn respectively.
Mixed Performance across Sectors
Performance across sectors was mixed as 3 of 5 indices closed in the green. The Consumer Goods index topped the gainers’ chart, up 1.1% on account of upticks in UNILEVER (+4.8%) and NESTLE (+3.5%). Likewise, the Insurance and Banking indices rose 0.5% and 0.2% on the back of gains in AIICO (+3.6%) and GUARANTY (+1.0%) respectively. On the flip side, the Oil & Gas index closed 0.9% lower on account of declines in OANDO (-4.9%) and FORTE (-1.6%) while the Industrial Goods index slid 0.4% owing to a price depreciation in WAPCO (-0.9%). 
Market Breadth Improves but Still Negative
Investor sentiment remained soft today even as market breadth (advancers/decliners’ ratio) improved to 0.8x (from 0.6x recorded yesterday) on account of 16 advancing stocks against 20 decliners. The best performers were UNILEVER (+4.8%), NEM (+4.8%) and CILEASING (+4.5%) while PRESCO (-5.0%) OANDO (-4.9%) and ETERNA (-4.7%) were the worst performers. While the equities market remains dominated by market participants booking profits, the improvement in market breadth suggests a likely near term rebound in performance.