Equities Sustain Downward Trend

The bearish trend in the Nigerian equities market was extended into the 4th consecutive trading session as sell-offs persisted on Tuesday. The ASI slid 4bps to close at 27,831.95 while YTD return settled at -2.8%. Investors lost N3.7bn as market capitalization declined to N9.6tn. Losses in NESTLE (-2.5%), WAPCO (-5.0%), FORTE (-4.5%) and SEPLAT (-5.0%) were the major drags to market performance. Market activity waned as volume and value traded declined 16.9% and 33.7% to settle at 275.7m units and N3.2bn.

All Sector Indices Close in the Red
The Oil & Gas index depreciated the most, falling 1.9% on account of sell-offs in SEPLAT (-5.0%) and FORTE (-4.5%). The Insurance index trailed, declining 1.3% on the back of losses in CONTINSURE (-4.7%) and MANSARD (-3.3%). Similarly, the Industrial and Consumer Goods indices slid 1.0% and 0.9% respectively against the backdrop of losses in WAPCO (-5.0%) and NESTLE (-2.5%). In the same vein, the Banking index was dragged 0.1% southwards following price depreciation in ETI (-3.1%) and GUARANTY (-0.8%).

Investor Sentiment improves
Investor Sentiment in the market improved as market breadth - advancers/decliners ratio- rose to 0.7x (from 0.5x yesterday) on account of 17 stocks that advanced against 26 that declined. The best performing stocks were OANDO (+10.1%), ETERNA (+9.8%) and AIRSERVICE (+4.8%) while FCMB (-5.7%), FIDELITY (-5.0%) and SEPLAT (-5.0%) were the worst performing stocks. With no major trigger to stoke investor confidence in the interim, we believe that downtrend in the market will likely continue. Nevertheless, we do not rule out the prospect of some bargain hunting in the trading days ahead.