Bearish Sentiment Unrelenting as Benchmark Index Closes Lower

The negative sentiment in the equities market was sustained at the end of trading on Tuesday. The All Share Index (ASI) trimmed 34bps to close at 25,233.42 points extending bearish run to 4th consecutive session. Market capitalisation declined N29.3bn to settle at N8.7tn as losses in DANGCEM (-1.2%), FORTE (-9.7%), GUARANTY (-0.4%) and OANDO (-5.0%) dragged performance. However, market activity improved as volume and value traded surged 152.7% and 4.9% to settle at 511.6m units and N1.7bn respectively.

Mixed Sentiment across Sectors
Sector performance was mixed as 3 indices gained and 2 declined. The Oil & Gas and Consumer Goods indices rose 0.5% apiece on the back of gains in MOBIL (+10.2%), TOTAL (+3.8%) and NIGERIAN BREWERIES (+1.4%). The Insurance index also appreciated 0.2% on account of bargain hunting in AIICO (+3.5%). On the contrary, the Industrial Goods index topped the sector decliners, down 0.7% on account of negative sentiment in DANGCEM (-1.2%). Similarly, the Banking index was dragged by losses in GUARANTY (-0.4%) and UBA (-0.2%) to close 0.4% lower.
Market Breadth Improves but Sentiment Remains Weak
Investor sentiment measured by market breadth improved to 0.7x (from 0.4x Yesterday) after 13 stocks advanced against 20 declining stocks. The best performing stocks today were MOBIL (+10.2%), UPL (+4.9%) and UAC-PROP (+4.7%) while FORTE (-9.7%), OANDO (-5.0%) and TRANSCOHOT (-4.9%) declined the most. Market performance remained pressured by weak macroeconomic indicators and policy responses (particularly on FX management) to the economic recession. However, with equities currently at 7-month low, bargain hunters might lift performance in subsequent sessions.