The Nigerian Equities market closed in the green for the second consecutive trading session on Thursday as investors positioned in bellwether stocks trading at attractive prices. Consequently, the All Share Index (ASI) grew 0.3% to 25,739.18 points while YTD loss trimmed to -10.1%. The major drivers of the positive close today were FORTE OIL (+10.2%), ZENITH (+1.8%) and DANGCEM (+1.2%). Similarly, market capitalisation improved N22.5bn to settle at N8.9tn. Activity level weakened as volume and value traded slid 35.1% and 38.8% to 166.0m units and N1.3bn respectively.
Oil & Gas index Leads Decliners
Following seven consecutive sessions of appreciation, the Oil & Gas index depreciated the most today, losing 0.6% on account of profit taking in TOTAL (-9.1%) and MOBIL (-5.0%). The Consumer Goods index closely trailed as it fell 0.5% on losses in UNILEVER (-4.2%) and GUINNESS (-1.1%). On the other hand, the Industrial Goods index (+0.7%) advanced the most against the backdrop of bargain hunting in DANGCEM (+1.2%). In the same vein, the Banking and Insurance indices advanced 0.4% and 0.3% respectively.
Investor Sentiment Stays Soft
Investor sentiment, reflected in market breadth (advancers/decliners ratio), improved from 0.8x yesterday to 0.9x - albeit still in negative territory - as 19 stocks advanced against 20 declining stocks. The top gaining stocks were FORTE OIL (+10.2%), HONYFLOUR (+9.3%) and PORTPAINT (+4.6%) while TOTAL (-9.1%), INTERNATIONAL BREWERIES (-5.0%) and MOBIL (-5.0%) declined the most. As market performance remains driven by bargain hunting, we expect some end of the week profit taking by investors in the trading session ahead.