Equities Surge 3.8% Ahead of New Year's Eve

The local bourse ended today's trading session higher as against a negative performance yesterday. Thus, the All Share Index (ASI) rose 3.8% settling at 27,777.83pts to trim YtD loss to 19.8%. Market capitalization also expanded by N351.5bn to close at N9.6tn. Today's performance was largely driven by buy sentiment in bellwether stocks such as DANGCEM (+8.6%) and NIGERIAN BREWERIES (+7.8%) as last minute traders position ahead of the New Year. In contrast to the unusual spike observed yesterday, market activity was mixed as total volume traded increased 8.4% to 1.4bn while and aggregate value traded declined 45.3% to N1.9bn.

Bullish Sentiment across Sectors
Performance across sectors was broadly bullish. All sector indicators but the Banking index trended northwards. The Consumer and Industrial Goods indices led the gainers rising 4.2% each on the back of appreciation in blue chip counters - DANGCEM (+8.6%), NIGERIAN BREWERIES (+7.8%) and NESTLE (+4.3%). The Oil & Gas sector index (+0.7%) trailed on account of sustained rally in MOBIL (+3.3%), the Insurance sector index also added 0.4%. On the flip side, the Banking sector index recorded a marginal decline of 9bps due to losses in ZENITHBANK (-1.1%) and GUARANTY (-0.6%).

Last Minute Rally to Persist
Market sentiment jumped to 3.6x as against 0.8x in the prior session as 32 stocks advanced while 9 declined. The best performers were DANGCEM (+10.1%), NIGERIAN BREWERIES (+7.8%), FBNH (+7.6%) and UNITYBANK (+6.9%), while ETRANZACT (-5.0%), NAHCO (-5.0%), TRANSCOHOT (-4.9%) and DIAMONDBNK (-2.1%) led the list worst performers. We are of the view that today's positive performance may be linked to last minute buying by portfolio managers who close their books for the year on the 31st of December. We expect the market to sustain gains tomorrow.