Equities Market Sustains Uptrend

The Nigerian equities market extended gains today following continuous interest in bellwethers as well as bargain hunting by investors. Accordingly, the benchmark index rose 0.6% to settle at 26,119.79 points while the YTD loss eased to 2.8%. Today’s performance was bolstered by appreciation in UBA (+6.3%), OANDO (+7.9%) and UNILEVER (+5.3%). Also, market capitalization grew by N52.4bn to N9.0tn. Activity level improved as volume and value traded grew 38.5% and 36.0% to 264.5m units and N2.9bn respectively.

Bullish Performance across Sectors
Market performance was broadly bullish as all sector indices closed in the green. The Banking index advanced the most, up 1.5% on the back of price appreciation in UBA (+6.3%) and ZENITH (+1.6%). The Oil & Gas index followed suit, adding 0.6% on account of gains in OANDO (+7.9%) and FORTE (+2.3%). Likewise, the Consumer Goods and Insurance indices trended 0.4% and 0.3% northward on the back of gains in UNILEVER (+5.3%) and MANSARD (+1.9%) respectively, while the Industrial Goods index closed flattish.

Investors Sentiment Strengthens
Investor sentiment strengthened as indicated by the market breadth (advancers/decliners) which increased to 2.9x consequent on 29 advancers against 10 decliners. At the summit of advancers list were FIDSON (+10.0%), OANDO (+7.9%) and UBA (+6.3%) while the decliners list was led by UNITYBNK (-6.9%), 7UP (-5.0%) and NASCON (-5.0%). General conditions in the economy seem to be improving as reflected in the recently released PMI report by the CBN; whilst we view this as a positive, we believe the bullish performance in the market could be reversed as investors take profit in stocks that have rallied in recent trading sessions.

NASD OTC Exchange Market Activities
In the NASD OTC exchange, total volume traded shrunk 80.2% to 40,000 units while value traded grew 299.8% to N4.4m. A total of 15 counters traded today and all closed flat.