Profit Taking Drags Index Lower

Performance of the Nigerian Equities market was broadly bearish on Tuesday as profit taking by investors pulled the All Share Index 0.3% southwards to settle at 25, 671.23 points, while YTD loss worsened to -10.1%. In the same vein, market capitalisation trimmed N28.7bn to N8.8tn. Losses in GUINNESS (-5.0%), DANGCEM (-1.5%) and NESTLE (-1.2%) were the major drags to performance. However, activity level was mixed as volume traded grew 8.2% to 189.4m units while value traded dipped 20.7% to N2.5bn respectively.

Oil & Gas Index sustains Uptrend
Sector performance remained mixed as the Oil & Gas index (+2.8%) led sector gainers on sustained interest in TOTAL (+10.2%) and FORTE OIL (+10.2%) while the Banking index trailed, advancing 0.1%. In contrast, persistent sell offs in GUINNESS (-5.0%) and NESTLE (-1.2%) dragged the Consumer Goods index 0.8% southwards. Similarly, the Industrial Goods index slid 0.6% on the back of price depreciation in DANGCEM (-1.5%) while the Insurance index closed flat.

Sentiment remains soft
Investor sentiment improved, albeit still soft, as market breadth settled at 0.9x (from 0.7x yesterday) consequent on 14 stocks advancing against 15 declining stocks. The gainers' chart was topped by TOTAL (+10.2%), FORTE OIL (+10.2%) and PORTPAINT (+9.5%) while DIAMOND BANK (-5.5%), GUINNESS (-5.0%) and CAVERTON (-4.3%) led the losers' list. With the lack of a major trigger to stoke investor confidence in equities, the current downtrend is expected to persist. Nevertheless, we do not rule out the possibility of some marginal gains driven by bargain hunting.