Market Opens Bearish on Profit Taking

The Nigerian stock market halted gains from two consecutive trading days as bearish sentiment sneaked in with the All Share Index (ASI) losing 18bps to close at 28,283.99 points. Accordingly, investors lost N18.4bn in value as market capitalization settled at N9.7tn. This performance was driven by declines in share prices of NIGERIAN BREWERIES (-2.8%), NESTLE (-1.2%) and UBA (-4.5%). Market activity also weakened as volume and value traded slid 9.0% and 44.8% to 198.1m units and N1.3bn respectively.

Mixed Performance across Sectors
Performance across sectors was mixed today as the Banking index advanced 1.4% on the back of buying interest in GUARANTY (+4.1%) and ZENITH (+2.4%) while the Oil & Gas index gained 0.1% against the backdrop of appreciation in OANDO (+1.3%). Contrarily, the Consumer Goods index slid 1.7% as losses in NIGERIAN BREWERIES (-2.8%) and NESTLE (-1.2%) impacted sector performance, while the Insurance index marginally shed 0.1% on account of decline in NEM (-4.9%). The Industrial goods index closed flat.

Sentiment Weakens Ahead of Earnings Result
Investor sentiment weakened today as market breadth settled at 0.6x (from 0.7x on Friday) with 17 stocks declining against 11 advancers. The best performing stocks were CHAMPION (+5.6%), LIVESTOCK (+4.7%) and GUARANTY (+4.1%) while CAVERTON (-7.9%), WEMA (-6.9%), and NEM (-4.9%) declined the most. Weaker trading activities amidst bearish sentiment signals cautious trading by equity investors ahead of an uncertain earnings season and speculative development in the currency market. We expect market to broadly trade sideways this week with tepid activity as investors continue to anticipate the first batch of earnings result.