In line with our forecast yesterday, the Nigerian bourse halted a 5-day bearish trend on Thursday as bargain hunting in TOTAL (+8.1%), STANBIC (+4.2%) and NIGERIAN BREWERIES (+1.9%) drove the All Share Index 0.2% higher, to settle at 27,751.34 points. Also, market capitalization rose N21.8bn to close at N9.5tn while YTD loss was trimmed to -3.1%. However, activity level weakened as volume and value traded declined 37.8% and 31.5% to 155.7m units and N1.5bn respectively.
Mixed Performance across Sectors
The Banking and Insurance indices were the only declining sectors today, down 0.6% and 0.4% respectively on losses in GUARANTY (-0.8%), ZENITH (-0.6%) and CONTINSURE (-4.9%). On the flipside, the Oil & Gas index chaired sector gainers, advancing 1.4% due to renewed buy sentiment in TOTAL (+8.1%) and MOBIL (+5.0%). Similarly, the Consumer and Industrial Goods indices closed in the green, up 0.8% and 0.4% respectively.
Sentiment Remains Soft
Investor sentiment improved today, albeit soft as market breadth settled at 0.8x (vs. 0.7x yesterday) after 14 stocks advanced while 17 declined. The top gainers were CUTIX (+9.2%), TOTAL (+8.1%) and MOBIL (+5.0%) while AIICO (-6.9%), INTBREW (-5.0%) and CONTINSURE (-4.9%) were the worst performers. Despite the positive close today, we expect the market to close the week lower, given the losses recorded from Monday to Wednesday.