Equities Open Week Bearish

The local Bourse opened the week negative as the benchmark index slipped 81bps to close at 35,664.94 points while the YTD return moderated to 32.7%. Accordingly, investors lost N100.7bn as market capitalization settled at N12.3tn. Performance was majorly dragged by sell sentiment in DANGCEM (-2.3%) GUARANTY (-1.9%) and NESTLE (-0.8%). In the same manner, market activity weakened as volume and value traded declined 24.7% and 29.5% to close at 114.8m units and N2.2bn respectively.

Oil & Gas Index Emerges Lone Sector Gainer
Sector performance was broadly bearish as all indices closed in the red save for the Oil & Gas index which rose 0.7% on account of bargain hunting in OANDO (+3.7%) and TOTAL (+0.9%) . On the flip side, the Industrial Goods index led losers with a loss of 1.0% due to price depreciation in DANGCEM (-2.3%). Likewise, the Banking and Consumer Goods indices dipped 0.4% apiece owing to losses in GUARANTY (-1.9%) and NESTLE (-0.8%) while the Insurance index shed 0.1% on the back of a decline in WAPIC (-2.0%).

Market Breadth Remains Soft
Investor sentiment remained soft as reflected in the market breadth which settled at 0.9x (relative to 0.9x recorded in the previous session) as 20 stocks advanced against 23 decliners. The best performers were AIRSERVICE (+4.9%), TRANSCORP (+4.8%) and UCAP (+4.7%) while OKOMUOIL (-4.9%), MCNICHOLS (-4.5%) and LIVESTOCK (-4.5%) were the worst performers. The weak sentiment in the market suggests that investors are trading cautiously in anticipation of Q3:2017 company results. Thus, current performance is expected to be sustained in trading sessions ahead.