STOCK –Nigerian equities take a breather.
The Nigerian equities market took a breather today after the strong rally recorded yesterday, as the benchmark index declined 0.2% to close at 30,311.77 points, whilst market capitalization also fell N20.0bn to close at N10.4tn.
Afrinvest, in its dealers' perception note, said the pullback in the benchmark index was mainly against the backdrop of profit-taking activities in Banking stocks - GUARANTY (-2.5%), STANBIC (-3.4%) - and GUINNESS (-3.2%). Market activity was however mixed, as aggregate volume rose 62.5% to 413.9m units whilst aggregate value declined 38.6% N2.4bn, an indication that investors were very active on penny stocks today.
Insurance Index Rebounds to Lead Sector Gains
Sector performance was also mixed today. The Insurance index surged 3.8% to lead advancers on strong rally in MANSARD (+9.8%) and CONTINSURE (+9.3%). The Industrial Goods index trailed with a softer gain of 0.4% as the index was buoyed by WAPCO (+1.0%) despite profit taking in DANGOTE CEMENT (-0.1%) and CCNN (-3.8%). The Banking index fell 0.9% to lead decliners -- pressured by the loss in GURANTY (-2.5%) which offsets gains recorded in ZENITH (+1.6%) and FBNH (+2.4%). The Oil & Gas and Consumer Goods indices both closed 0.1% down apiece.
Market Breadth Closes Negative
Market breadth measured by advancers/decliners ratio weakened to 0.7x today (19 gainers' vs. 29 losers') relative to 3.8x yesterday. Top gainers today includes MANSARD (+9.8%), CAVERTON (+9.4%) and CONTISURE (+9.3%) whilst Van Leer Containers Plc (-5.0%), Union Homes (-4.9%) and PZ (-4.8%) led losses. Whilst today's bearish close was majorly due to profit-taking, we anticipate investors to trade cautiously in the sessions ahead as the market await the US Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) decision on interest rate on Thursday.