Bargain Hunting in FMCGs Drives Index Higher

The Nigerian bourse recorded a positive close on Thursday on account of bargain hunting in market heavyweights across sectors. The benchmark index rose 0.2% to close at 27,880.46 points while market capitalization grew N17.6bn to settle at N9.5tn. Today’s performance was largely attributable to the gains in Consumer Goods bellwethers - NESTLE (+0.6%) and NIGERIAN BREWERIES (+1.6%). Contrary to the broader index, market activity declined as volume and value traded slid 17.9% and 51.6% to close at 242.7m units and N1.7bn respectively.

Mixed Performance across Sectors
Similar to yesterday, performance across sectors was mixed. The Consumer Goods index (+1.0%) topped the sector gainers on account of appreciation in NESTLE (+0.6%) and NIGERIAN BREWERIES (+1.6%). The Oil & Gas index followed, up 0.6% on the back of gains in SEPLAT (+1.5%) and CONOIL (+5.0%). Similarly, the Insurance index gained 0.3%, driven by gains in AIICO (+4.8%), to halt a 4-day negative streak. Downtrend in UBA (-4.1%) and WEMABANK (-4.2%) drove the Banking index 0.2% southwards. The Industrial Goods index closed flat at the end of trading today.

Investor Sentiment Strengthens
Investor sentiment strengthened today as market breadth (advancers/decliners ratio) closed at 2.1x (from 0.9x on Wednesday) on account of 23 stocks which advanced against 11 decliners. CONOIL (+5.0%), VITAFOAM (+4.9%) and TRANSEXPR (+4.9%) topped gainers while JBERGER (-9.7%), CAVERTON (-9.0%) and WEMABANK (-4.2%) led the laggards. Market performance this week has followed a sideways trading pattern with the index swinging between soft gains and marginal losses, while activity level has remained soft. We expect the market to continue trading in this pattern as appetite for equities remains weak.