Stock Market Sentiment Weakens

The bearish performance of the domestic bourse stretched to the third consecutive trading session on Wednesday as the All Share Index (ASI) shed 18bps to settle at 41,080.12 points while YTD return further weakened to 7.4%. Accordingly, market capitalisation fell to N14.8tn as investors lost N27.4bn. Today’s negative market performance was largely driven by profit taking in GUARANTY (-1.4%), UNILEVER (-5.0%) and NIGERIAN BREWERIES (-1.4%). Nonetheless, activity level was mixed as volume traded dipped 39.5% to 341.1m units while value traded inched 61.7% higher to N9.3bn. GUARANTY (162.8m), FIDELITY (29.5m) and FBNH (25.9m) were today’s top traded stocks by volume while the top traded stocks by value were GUARANTY (N7.4bn), ZENITH (N378.5m) and FBNH (N310.9m).

Mixed Sector Performance 
Performance across sectors was mixed. The Oil & Gas index closed flat while Insurance and Industrial Goods indices advanced 1.5% and 0.2% respectively due to price appreciations in MANSARD (+4.7%), LINKASSURE (+3.6%), CCNN (+4.9%) and DANGCEM (+0.4%). On the other hand, the Banking and Consumer Goods indices trended southwards, inching 0.5% and 0.8% lower respectively as a result of profit taking in GUARANTY (-1.4%), UBA (-0.4%), UNILEVER (-5.0%) and NIGERIAN BREWERIES (-1.4%).

Investor Sentiment Weakens
Investor sentiment measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) weakened further to 0.8x from 1.0x recorded in the preceding trading session as 22 stocks advanced compared to 27 stocks that declined. The top performers were VERITASKAP (+5.7%), CCNN (+4.9%) and MANSARD (+4.7%) while JAPAULOIL (-8.3%), CUTIX (-5.0%) and UNILEVER (-5.0%) were the worst performers. Despite the softer sentiment in the market, we anticipate a rebound in the near term on the back of bargain hunting in bellwethers.