Profit Taking Activities Pull Equities Market into the Red

Today’s trading session ended with the Nigerian Bourse closing lower as the All Share Index slipped 0.1% to close at 27,599.48 points whilst investors lost N12.3bn as market capitalization settled at N9.5tn. Market performance was broadly driven by profit taking activities in banking stocks - GUARANTY (-2.1%), STANBIC (-5.0%), ZENITH (-1.0%) and UNION (-4.9%) - which diffused the impact of the appreciation in ETI (+0.9%) and a late rally in DANGCEM (+0.9%) on market performance. Similarly, activity level trended southward as volume and value traded shed 0.4% apiece to close at 142.2m units and N1.4bn respectively.
Insurance Index Emerges Biggest Gainer
The Industrial Goods index appreciated 0.6% on  the back of the 5.0% upward movement in ASHAKACEM and a late rally in DANGCEM (+0.9%) whilst the Insurance index also gained 1.5% as MANSARD (+5.0%), AIICO (+4.1%) and NEM (+3.9%) all rose. On the other hand, the Banking index declined 1.3% consequent on the performance of GUARANTY (-2.1%), STANBIC (-5.0%), ZENITH (-1.0%) and UNION (4.9%) whilst the 1.0% decline in OANDO pulled the  Oil & Gas index 0.5% lower. Likewise, the Consumer Goods index shed 0.1%on the back of depreciation in GUINNESS (-2.9%) and FLOURMILL (-3.2%).
Investor Sentiment Softens
Investor sentiment appeared watered during the first trading session of the week as market breadth (advancers’/decliners’ ratio) closed at 0.7x - from 1.8x on Friday- as a result of 16 advancing stocks against 24 declining stocks. At the top of the gainers’ list were UNIONDICON (+10.2), MANSARD and ASKAKACEM (+5.0%apiece) while VITAFOAM, DIAMOND (-6.3% apiece) and MAYBAKER (-5.0%) led the laggards. Today’s negative performance was broadly driven by profit taking as expectations of the Apex Bank’s announcement on a flexible exchange rate policy stifles momentum. We expect the market to continue southwards tomorrow.