Equities Kick-start Week Lower as FMCGs Flounder

The equities market closed lower at the end of trade on Monday as the All Share Index (ASI) fell 38 bps to close at 25,244.65 points. Today’s weak performance is attributable to losses in NIGERIAN BREWERIES (-5.0%), STANBIC (-4.5%) and ETI (-3.1%) which offset gains in market heavyweight – DANGCEM (+0.5%). As a result, market capitalisation declined by N33.0bn to settle at N8.7tn. Market activity also moderated as volume and value traded fell 29.7% and 46.6% to settle at 141.9m units and N1.4bn respectively.

Consumer Goods Index Closes Lower for the 5th Session
Performance across sectors was largely mixed as 3 indices gained while 2 declined. The Consumer Goods index (-2.3%) posted losses for the 5th Consecutive session as investors sold-off on NIGERIAN BREWERIES (-5.0%), NASCON (-5.0%) and HONEYWELL (-3.7%), while the Insurance index waned -0.2% - dragged by losses in MANSARD (-0.6%) and NEM (-1.2%). On the bright side, gains in DANGCEM (+0.5%) boosted the Industrial Goods index to close 59bps higher. Likewise, the Banking index sustained positive momentum (up 0.3%) on account of gains in ZENITH (+1.9%) and GUARANTY (+1.0%) while the Oil & Gas index closed 0.2% higher on the back of positive sentiment toward SEPLAT (+1.3%) and FORTE (+0.2%).

Market Breadth Improves But Still Negative
Investor sentiment improved as measured by market breadth which settled at 0.9x (from 0.3x on Friday) after 15 stocks advanced against 17 decliners. The best performing stocks today were BETAGLASS (+5.0%), PZ (+5.0%) and UACN (+4.7%) while VITAFOAM (-5.2%), TRANSCORP (-5.0%) and NIGERIAN BREWERIES (-5.0%) declined the most. With more earnings reports set to trickle in towards the tail end of February, we expect market performance to be dictated by expectations of these earnings scorecards.