Equities Market Pares Marginal Gain

The Domestic Equities Market pared the marginal gain recorded yesterday to close at 42,839.49 points, down 54bps while YTD return stood at 12.1%. Accordingly, market capitalization declined N83.7bn to close at N15.3tn. Today’s performance was largely driven by price depreciation in ZENITH (-1.8%), NESTLE (-1.4%), and DANGSUGAR (-4.9%). Activity level was mixed as volume traded fell 8.6% to 372.7m units while value traded trended 11.9% northwards to N6.8bn. The top traded stocks by volume were FIDELITY (45.8m), ZENITH (36.3m), and FBNH (34.1m) while the top traded stocks by value were NIGERIAN BREWERIES (N2.4bn), GUARANTY (N1.1bn), and ZENITH (N1.1bn).

Mixed Sector Performance... Banking Index Leads Laggards
Sector performance was mixed 3 of the 5 major indices closed southwards with the banking index leading the laggards, down 1.5% due to losses in ZENITH (-1.8%) and ACCESS (-3.5%). Relatedly, GUARANTY released its FY:2017 earnings result today; Gross Earnings inched 1.1% higher to N419.2bn (from N414.6bn in FY:2016) while PAT rose 28.9% to N170.5bn. Also, a dividend of N2.40 (dividend yield of 5.1%) was declared for the period. The Consumer Goods index trailed, losing 0.8% on account of price depreciation in NESTLE (-1.4%), and DANGSUGAR (-4.9%) while the Oil & Gas index closed down 0.3% as losses in TOTAL (-1.2%) dragged the index lower. The Insurance and Industrial Goods indices were the only gainers, up 10bps apiece on account of gains in NEM (+4.9%), MANSARD (+1.1%), and DANGCEM (+0.2%).

Investor Sentiment Dampens
Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) dampened further to 0.4x from 0.7x recorded yesterday consequent on 15 stocks advancing against 40 decliners. The top gainers for the day were C&I LEASING (+7.8%), UACN PROP (+5.0%), and LIVESTOCK (+5.0%) while LASACO (-9.5%), JAPAUL OIL (-9.1%), and DIAMOND (-7.3%) led the laggards. Going forward, we anticipate a rebound in market performance in subsequent trading sessions as investors continue to look for bargain opportunities in previous decliners.