Sustained Sell Offs Pull YTD Return into Negative Region

Sustained sell offs in the local bourse, which have persisted for 11 days, pulled the All Share Index (ASI) 1.3% lower to 38,104.54 points, its lowest in 5 months while YTD return fell to a deficit of 0.4%. Consequently, investors lost N181.8bn as market capitalization fell to N13.8tn dragged majorly by NESTLE (-4.4%), DANGCEM (-1.0%) and INTERBREW (-4.8%). Activity level strengthened as volume and value traded inched 39.2% and 108.0% higher to 476.2m units and N9.9bn respectively. ZENITH (127.2m units & N3.3bn), GUARANTY (74.0m units & N3.0bn) and UBA (65.6m units & N700.8m) were the top traded by volume and value respectively. Relatedly, StanbicIBTC Holdings Plc today announced a share acquisition by its parent company, Stanbic Africa Holdings, which would increase its shareholding in the Nigerian bank to 64.4%.

Largely Bearish Sector Performance
Sector performance maintained its bearish trend as 4 of 5 indices we cover closed southwards. The Consumer and Industrial Goods indices lost 2.6% and 2.1% respectively on account of continued selloffs in NESTLE (-4.4%), INTERBREW (-4.8%), NIGERIAN BREWERIES (-1.9%), DANGCEM (-1.0%) and WAPCO (-4.9%). Similarly, the Banking index declined 1.1% as we saw price depreciation in GUARANTY (-1.2%) and ACCESS (-4.6%) while the Oil & Gas index waned 0.3% due to profit taking in FORTE (-9.1%). On the flipside, the Insurance index gained 0.2% as price appreciations in LINKASSURE (+1.2%) and MBENEFITS  (+2.8%) buoyed the index.

Investor Sentiment Weakens
Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) declined to 0.8x from 0.9x as 21 stocks advanced against 26 stocks that declined. Today’s top gainers were CCNN (+10.1%), FCMB (+8.1%) and FBNH (+5.7%) while INTERBREW (-9.6%), FORTE (-9.1%) and OKOMUOIL (-5.9%) were today’s top losers.
Despite the negative performance, we noticed some bargain hunting in small and mid-cap stocks, hence market performance could improve in the final trading session. Afinvest view is further buttressed by the fact that the Relative Strength Index of the market is currently at 12.55 points, which is in the oversold region and this is also an indicator of a reversal.