Equities Market Closes Higher

The Nigerian equities market index continued northwards on Tuesday closing 2bps higher to settle at 23,981.09pts. In the same vein, market capitalization increased N1.4bn to close at N8.2tn. Today’s marginal gain was driven by appreciations in NIGERIAN BREWERIES (+0.9%) and UNILEVER (+5.0%). However, market activity declined as volume and value traded waned 11.0% and 10.3% to close at 169.5m units and N1.5bn units respectively.

Banking Sector… Sole Decliner
All sectors save the Banking sector closed in the green today. Sell down pressure in some value counters in the Banking sector - ZENITH (-1.1%), ETI (-4.5%) and FBNH (-3.6%) dragged the index into the red with -0.9%. On the other hand, the 1.0% rise in the Consumer Goods index was consequent majorly on the increase in NIGERIAN BREWERIES (+0.9%). Similarly, price appreciations in SEPLAT (+2.0%) and MOBIL (+4.8%) pushed the Oil & Gas index northwards. The Insurance index also rose 0.3% while the Industrial Goods sector added 2bps.

Positive Market Sentiments
The market breadth (advancers/decliners ratio) closed 1.1x as 19 stocks advanced while 17 stocks declined. Top gainers were STERLING (+8.2%), UNILEVER (+5.2%) and MOBIL (+4.8%) while UACN (-4.9%), FIDELITY (-4.8%) and ETI (-4.5%) led the losing stocks. In the absence of exciting news to cheer market performance, we believe the uptrend in the market has been due to bargain hunting activities. Thus, the momentum may be short lived as macro-economic glitches remain unchanged. While investors with greater risk appetites and short holding period can make quick gains by riding on market volatilities, we advise long term investors to maintain positions in stocks with sound fundamentals.