Broad-Based Sell-Offs Drag Market Performance

The equities market extended losses from the previous trading session as the All Share Index (ASI) shed 1.2% to settle at 44,389.85 points while YTD return contracted to 16.1%. Similarly, market capitalization fell to N15.9tn as investors lost N187.3bn. Profit taking in market bellwethers - DANGCEM (-1.5%), GUARANTY (-2.8%), FBNH (-5.3%) and ZENITH (-2.3%) - as well as mid and small cap stocks dragged performance. Also, activity level declined as volume and value traded fell 83.4% and 51.8% to 737.9m units and N7.7bn respectively.

Mixed Sector Performance
Sector performance was mixed as 3 of 5 indices closed in the red while 2 trended northwards. The Banking index was the top loser, down 2.6% as GUARANTY (-2.8%), ZENITH (-2.3%) and UBA (-5.0%) declined. Next in line were the Insurance and Industrial Goods indices which lost 2.4% and 0.7% respectively, on the back of price depreciation in MANSARD (-4.8%), LINKASSURE (-8.8%) and DANGCEM (-1.5%). On the flip side, the Consumer Goods index was the top gainer, up 0.7% following gains in PZ (+1.7%), NASCON (+2.5%) and a rebound in NESTLE (+8bps). Similarly, uptick in SEPLAT (+1.5%) drove the Oil & Gas index 0.1% higher.

Investor Sentiment Weakens
Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) weakened to 0.3x from 1.0x recorded yesterday as 14 stocks advanced against 43 decliners. Today’s best performers were SKYE (+9.9%), CAVERTON (+9.8%) and UNITY (+9.2%) while FIDELITY (-9.2%), AGLEVENT (-9.1%) and LINKASSURE (-8.7%) were the worst performing stocks. Despite losses recorded since the start of the week, we expect sell-offs across sectors to continue in subsequent trading sessions as investors look to book profits following weeks of sustained gains.