Equities Extend Bearish Run

The Nigerian equity market opened the weak bearish as the benchmark All Share Index (ASI) further shed points on the back of the heightening macroeconomic risk underlined by the continuous slide in crude oil prices and foreign exchange uncertainties which have kept sentiment negative. The ASI fell 2.5% today to close at 26,350.18 points, while market capitalization declined N233.2bn to N9.1tn. The bearish trade today was majorly driven by sell down pressure in blue-chip Industrial and Consumer tickers -- DANGOTE CEMENT (-4.3%), WAPCO (-9.7%) and NIGERIAN BREWERIES (-3.0%). Market activity also waned as aggregate volume and value of traded equities declined 45.8% and 29.2% to 127.7m units and N1.4bn respectively.

All Sector Indices in the red
All sector indices closed in the red today, led by the Industrial Goods index which dipped 6.4%, weighed-down by selloffs in -- DANGOTE CEMENT (-4.3%) and LAFARGE (-9.7%). The Consumer Goods and Insurance indices both trailed with a 1.5% decline each. The Consumer Goods index dip was pressured by sustained depreciation in NIGERIAN BREWERIES (-3.0%) while MANSARD (-4.9%) drove loss in the Insurance index. Banking tickers remained bearish resulting in a 0.6% decline in the Banking Index while the Oil & Gas indices waned 0.6%

Market Sentiment Wanes Further
Market sentiment, gauged by its breadth (the Advancers/Decliners ratio) waned to 0.2x from 0.3x in the previous session as 6 stocks gained while 31 fell. Top gainers today include ASHAKACEM (+5.0%), TOTAL (+5.0%), MCNICHOLS (+4.4%) and LEARNAFRCA (+3.7%) while WAPCO (-9.7%), UNITYBNK (-9.4%), ETERNA (-9.0%) and OANDO (-6.9%) led laggards. The sustained bearish run in the bourse indicates the poor sentiments for equities. Nevertheless, the selloff cannot be disconnected from portfolio moves by fund managers exiting their position after reporting their full year numbers. We remain bearish on equities in the short term although we expect some level of bargain in the session.