Weak Appetite for Large Caps Drags Index Lower

The Nigerian equities market started the month of April on a bearish note as the All Share Index recorded a 95bps loss to settle at 25,273.03 points. Performance was dragged by declines in DANGCEM (-2.4%), NIGERIAN BREWERIES (-1.5%) and GUARANTY (-2.4%). Thus YTD loss worsened to –6.0%. Investors lost N84.2bn as market capitalization closed at N8.7tn. Activity level also slowed as volume and value traded declined by 83.5% and 99.3% to 97.7m units and N682.8m respectively.

Mixed Performance across Sectors
Performance across sectors was mixed as 3 indices declined of 5. The Banking index fell the most, depreciating 1.6% on account of GUARANTY (-2.4%). We also note that UBA fell 8.2% after it was marked down for dividend today. The Industrial and Consumer Goods indices also dipped 0.7% and 0.1% owing to sell offs in DANGCEM (-2.4%) and NIGERIAN BREWERIES (-1.5%) respectively. On the flip side, the Insurance index added 1.1% as a result of gains in MANSARD (+4.4%) and NEM (+5.0%). Likewise, positive sentiments towards MOBIL (+5.0%) drove the Oil & Gas index higher.

Investor Sentiment Improves Significantly
Despite declines recorded in the market today, market breadth improved to 4.0x (from 1.1x the previous Friday) as 28 stocks closed higher relative to 7 decliners. The top gainers were UACN (+10.2%), NASCON (+10.1%) and DANGSUGAR (+9.8%) while ETERNA (-4.7%), TOTAL (-3.7%) and GUARANTY (-2.4%) were the top losers. With the expiration of the 31st of March deadline for submission of FY: 2016 results, ETI, DIAMOND and OANDO also submitted late filling notification to The Exchange on Friday, joining FBNH which made a similar announcement earlier. We expect the market to continue to trade sideways in the interim, analysts at Afrinvest said.

NASD OTC Exchange Market Activities
In the NASD OTC exchange, the total volume and value of transactions traded were 36,160.0 units and N5.1m respectively while only 2 counters were traded today.