The Nigerian equity market’s positive close last week was extended to the 1st trading session of the week as the All Share Index appreciated 0.3% to close at 25,890.94 points. Market capitalization increased N24.4bn to close at N8.9tn further moderating YTD loss to 9.6%. Sustained optimism in the Bourse was on account of positive sentiments toward Banking stocks – FBN HOLDINGS (+4.3%), STERLING (+7.4%) and UBA (+3.0%). Activity level waned as volume and value traded declined 0.3% and 0.1% to close at 186.3m units and N1.3bn respectively.
Gain Across All Sectors
All indices under our coverage trended northwards. Gains in CUSTODYINS and MANSARD (+4.9% each) pulled the Insurance Index up 0.9% to top sector performance while the Oil & Gas and Banking Indices trailed, up 0.5% apiece amid improved interest in FBN HOLDINGS (+4.3%), STERLING (+7.4%), OANDO (+4.9%) and TOTAL (+3.8%). Gains in TIGERBRAND (+9.9%), INTBREW (+5.0%) and FLOURMILLS (+0.2%) was not able to pull the Consumer Goods Index above the water as it ended the day flat.
Positive Sentiments Sustained
Bullish sentiment was sustained as market breadth - measured by the advancers and decliners ratio -closed improved to 1.8x (against 1.6x last week). A total of 20 stocks advanced against 11 declining stocks. TIGERBRAND (+9.9%), STERLING (+7.4%) and INTBREW (+5.0%) led the gainers while UNIONDIC (-5.0%), VITAFOAM (-4.8%) and IKEJAHOTEL (-4.8%) led losers. While we expect more corporate announcements to drive activities this week as more players in the Banking and Consumer goods space submit their scorecards for FY: 2015, we also see some profit taking following last week’s bargain hunting. Against this backdrop, we advise investors to overweigh on stock with consistent dividend paying history.