The Equities market recorded a loss for the 5th consecutive session at the end of trading on Thursday as the All Share Index (ASI) pared 0.2% to settle at 25,599.79 points, bringing YTD loss to 10.6%. Sell pressure on NIGERIAN BREWERIES (-0.6%), FORTE (-5.0%), TOTAL (-4.8%) and GUARANTY (-0.7%) dragged market performance as investors lost N18.4bn bringing market capitalization to N8.7tn. Activity stayed mixed as volume traded rose 10.9% to 161.6m while value traded declined 12.2% to N1.2bn respectively.
Mixed Sentiment across Sectors
Sector performance was mixed as 2 indices gained while 3 declined. The Insurance and Banking indices rose 0.5% and 0.2% on the back of gains in CONTINSURE (+3.0%), AIICO (+3.5%), ETI (+3.0%) and ACCESS (+1.9%). On the contrary, the Oil & Gas index led sector decliners, down 1.6% on account of losses in FORTE (-5.0%) and TOTAL (-4.8%) while the Consumer Goods index lost 0.3% as a result of price depreciation in NIGERIAN BREWERIES (-0.6%). Similarly, the Industrial Goods index weakened (-0.2%) against the backdrop of losses in CAP (-5.0%) and ASHAKA (-2.7%). Earlier today, ASHAKA released a notice to the Exchange, announcing a resolution passed by the Board of Directors for voluntary delisting of the Company from the floor of the NSE due to low floatation (15.0% versus NSE rule requirement of 20.0%). Current minority shareholders were given the option of exiting the Company (within 90 days) via exchange of 202 shares of Ashaka for 57 shares of WAPCO plus a cash consideration of N2 per ASHAKA share.
Investor Sentiment Improves
Investor sentiment improved as market breadth (advancers/decliners ratio) advanced to 0.6x - 14 advancers versus 25 decliners - from 0.1x yesterday. The best performers were NASCON (+4.9%), HONYFLOUR (+4.8%) and MAYBAKER (+4.5%) and while FORTE (-5.0%), GLAXOSMITH (-5.0%) and CAP (-5.0%) and were the worst performers. Market performance today showed improved sentiment from yesterday’s low, albeit still in the negative region. With the index closing in the red on all sessions this week – due to intense selling pressure – we expect appetite for equities to remain weak whilst investors continue to evaluate macroeconomic developments.