Performance in the first trading week of the New Year was majorly dragged by profit taking in market bellwethers as the broader index closed negative on 3 of the 4 trading sessions. The only positive performance was recorded on Friday (+0.2) as gains in Tier-1 counters in the Banking space - ZENITH (+1.8%), ACCESS (+2.3%), UBA (+1.5%), ETI (+1.2%) FBNH (+1.7%) and GUARANTY (+0.3%) - lifted the market. Consequently, the All Share Index (ASI) declined 2.3% W-o-W to close at 26,251.39 points while market capitalization depreciated by N214.4bn to settle at N9.0tn. Activity level was mixed as average volume traded improved 9.5% W-o-W to 129.1m units while average value traded slid 9.7% to N1.1bn.
Sentiment across sectors was bearish as all indices closed in the negative territory. The Industrial Goods index declined the most, down 3.0% W-o-W, and largely attributed to weak sentiment toward DANGCEM (-4.0%) and WAPCO (-2.3%). The Consumer Goods index shed 2.3% on account of losses in DANGFLOUR (-4.9%), NIGERIAN BREWERIES (-4.0%) and GUINNESS (-3.7%). The Banking and Oil & Gas indices lost 1.6% apiece W-o-W due to profit taking in GUARANTY (-4.7%), ETI (-4.2%), MOBIL (-5.0%) and FORTE (-4.6%) while the Insurance index recorded a 0.2% decline on the back of sell-offs in NEM (-9.5%) and CUSTODYINS (-4.9%).
Investor sentiment during the week was soft as indicated by the market breadth (advancers/decliners ratio) which settled at 0.6x as 17 stocks advanced against 29 that declined. The top gainers for the week were UAC-PROP (+14.5%), ACCESS (+6.9%) and ETERNA (+6.5%) while NAHCO (-13.9%), CCNN (-13.4%) and NEM (-9.5%) led laggards. Following the poor performance recorded this week, we believe losses could moderate in the coming week as investors take advantage of bargain opportunities in value stocks.