The All Share Index dipped 2.0% on the first trading day of the month to 30,588.41points as a result of drags from bellwether stocks - DANGOTE CEMENT (-5.0%), NIGERIAN BREWERIES (-4.8%), NESTLE (-4.6%) and ZENITH (-2.1%).
Thus Year-To-Date and Week-on-Week returns were brought to -11.7% and +0.1% in that order. Market capitalisation sank to ₦10.5 trillion from ₦10.7 trillion the previous day. Similarly, market activity decreased as volume and value traded reduced 34.1% to 275.0 million units and 40.3% to ₦3.1 billion respectively.
Banking Index Closes Positive
Against the backdrop of improved sentiments on banking stocks such as ETI (+3.0%), STANBIC (+2.3%) and UBN (+4.2%), the Banking index gained 0.1% at the end of the trading session. The Insurance index rose 0.8% as a result of price appreciation in MANSARD (+3.5%) and AIICO (+1.2%).
Also, the Oil & Gas index advanced 2.4% due to gains in FORTE OIL (+4.8%) and TOTAL (+3.3%). Closing in the woes of bearish sentiment was the Consumer Goods index (-3.2%) as NIGERIAN BREWERIES (-4.8%) and NESTLE (-4.6%) recorded price declines. Likewise, the Industrial Goods index dipped 2.4% due to negative performance in DANGOTE CEMENT (-5.0%).
Market Sentiment Improves
Market breadth improved to 1.3x as 22 counters advanced while 17 had depreciated at the close of trade. Top gainers were HONEYFLOUR (+8.2%), FORTE OIL (+4.8%), CUTIX (+4.4%) while top losers were TRANSEXPR (+7.4%), DANGOTE CEMENT (-5.0%) and NEIMETH (-4.9%).
Analysts at Afrinvest believe that the predominantly bearish performance, albeit the improved sentiment, in today's session can be linked to profit-taking by investors' and anxiety concerning economic policy pronouncements as the President's cabinet list is to be unveiled next week. “We continue to see significant upside potential in the Nigerian market based on the current market valuation.”