Stock Market Back in the Dumps

The upward trend recorded at the tail end of the last week was bucked today as the Benchmark index closed in the red losing 0.3% to settle at 27,179.28 points. The bearish close was broadly driven by profit taking by Investors on some top counters such as OANDO (-5.0%), ZENITH (-3.1%) and FORTE OIL (-2.4%). Similarly, a total of N31.1bn was lost by investors today as market capitalization slid to N9.3tn. Activity level in the market was mixed as volume traded advanced 195.5% to 417.8m units while value traded depreciated 3.1% to N3.0bn.

Mixed Performance Across Sectors
Performance across the various sector indices was mixed. The Industrial and Consumer Goods indices were the only sector gainers, appreciating 0.6% and 0.2% respectively against the backdrop of gains recorded in WAPCO (+1.5%) and  GUINNESS (+2.0%). On the flipside, the Oil & Gas index depreciated the most (-2.4%) due to waning appetite in OANDO (-5.0%) and FORTE OIL (-2.4%). In the same vein, the Banking index lost 0.8% while the Insurance index closed out the poor performance losing 0.1%.

Weak Sentiments Persist
Investor sentiments remained weak in the market today. This was as seen in the market breadth (advancers/decliners ratio) of 0.6x which resulted from 14 stocks advancing against 23 stocks declining stocks. The top gaining stocks at the close of trade today were BERGER (+5.0%), VANLEER (+4.9%) and IKEJA HOTEL (+4.8%) while ETERNA (-5.0%), OANDO (-5.0%) and LIVESTOCK (-5.0%) were the biggest losers. Given the general weak economic fundamentals at the moment, chances of an upward trend are bleak. However, while we expect some bargain hunting activities in the trading days ahead, we maintain our cautious view on short term investments and suggest a medium to long term horizon on stocks.