Benchmark Index Extends Gains

At the close of trading Thursday, the benchmark index gained 93bps to settle at 35,429.31 points while YTD return improved to 31.6%. Accordingly, market capitalization added N112.3bn to N12.2tn. Today’s positive close is largely attributed to gains in DANGCEM (+1.4%), ZENITH (+3.5%) and GUARANTY (+1.2%).  In the same vein, activity level improved as volume and value traded spiked 153.8% and 214.8% to settle at 346.2m units and N4.0tn respectively.

Mixed Sector Performance
Sector performance was mixed as 3 of 5 sector indices closed higher. The Banking index gained the most, up 1.4% on account of ZENITH (+3.5%) and GUARANTY (+2.0%). Likewise, the Industrial and Consumer Goods indices advanced 1.0% and 0.7% following gains DANGCEM (+1.4%) and NESTLE (+1.2%) respectively. Conversely, the Insurance and Oil & Gas indices dipped 0.4% and 0.1% due to declines in NEM (-4.1%) and MRS (-5.0%) respectively.

Investor Sentiment Wanes
Market breadth retreated to 0.9x from 1.0x recorded yesterday, as 20 stocks advanced against 22 decliners. Today’s top gainers were FIDSON (+10.2%), BOCGAS (+5.0%) and CILEASING (+4.8%) while the top losers were NASCON (-8.2%), CCNN (-5.0%) and MRS (-5.0%). As Q3:2017 draws to a close, we believe the recent gains in the market may be driven by portfolio rebalancing by Fund Managers. Nonetheless, we expect a negative close to the week.