The Nigerian bourse started the week lower as the ASI retreated from a 2-day gaining streak to close 0.6% lower settling at 25,349.07pts. Market capitalization also declined N54.4bn to settle at N8.7tn. Today’s performance was broadly dictated by the price depreciation in NIGERIAN BREWERIES (-3.6%), GUARANTY (-2.0%), NESTLE (-1.4%) and DANGSUGAR (-4.5%). Market activity however strengthened as volume and value traded rose 14.8% and 63.2% to close at 242.7m units and N1.6bn.
Oil & Gas Index Resilient
The Oil & Gas index (+0.5%) continued its impressive run of form on the first trading session of the week, ending the day as the lone advancing index. The performance of the index was buoyed by the appreciation in TOTAL (+2.5%) following a N12.00/share dividend declaration and SEPLAT (+2.0%). On the other hand, the Consumer and Industrial Goods indices declined 2.3% and 0.5% on the back of declines in DANGSUGAR (-4.5%), NIGERIAN BREWERIES (-3.6%), WAPCO (-2.0%) and ASHAKACEM (-9.4%). The Banking index shed 0.9% on account of further sell pressure on GUARANTY (-2.0%), ZENITH (-0.9%), ETI (-1.2%) and STANBIC (-3.6%). The Insurance index declined 0.1% as CONTINSURE slipped 1.0%.
Negative Market Breadth
Investors’ sentiment remained weak today as market breadth (advancers’/decliners’ ratio) closed at 0.7x as a result of 16 advancing stocks against 24 declining stocks. UCAP (+7.7%), FCMB (+5.6%) and E-TRANZACT (+4.9%) led the gainers’ list while ASHAKACEM (-9.7%), CCNN (-9.5%) and LEARNAFRCA (-5.0%) were at the top of the losers’ list. As FY:2015 earnings season approaches a curtain close, market activity is expected to be driven in the short term by dividend payments and bargain hunting as seen in TOTAL (+2.5%) who declared a dividend per share of N12.00 (7.6% Yield) today and UCAP (+7.7%) after being high up the losers’ list towards the end of last week.