Benchmark Index Rebounds on Renewed Interest

The Nigerian Bourse recouped yesterday’s loss as the All Share Index (ASI) added 1.5% to close at 32,686.72 points, whilst YTD gain expanded to 21.6%. As a result, market capitalisation improved N168.1bn to close at N11.3tn. Today’s performance was driven by a rebound in market heavyweight DANGCEM (+4.8%) and rally in Oil & Gas stocks – SEPLAT (+5.0%) and FORTE (+10.2%). However, activity level softened as volume and value traded fell 33.0% and 37.5% to settle at 499.1m units and N4.1bn respectively.

Mixed Sector Performance
Performance across sectors was broadly mixed as 3 of 5 indices advanced. The Oil & Gas index outperformed with a 3.0% gain on account of appreciations in FORTE (+10.2%) and SEPLAT (+5.0%). SEPLAT’s bullish close could be linked to the lifting of Force Majeure on Forcados export terminal which is positive for production volumes, forward earnings and cash flow of the company. Likewise, the Industrial Goods index rebounded 2.0% due to renewed interest in DANGCEM (+4.8%) while the Consumer Goods index added 0.6% on the back of gains in DANGSUGAR (+10.0%) and INTBREW (+10.2%). On the flipside, the Insurance index extended losses, down 1.4% due to declines in AIICO (-3.6%) and MANSARD (-3.0%) while the Banking index slid 0.6% on account of losses in ZENITH (-0.8%) and GUARANTY (-0.8%).

Market Breadth Moderates
Investor sentiment waned today as market breadth (advancers/decliners ratio) moderated further from 1.8x yesterday to 1.0x (26 advancers against 26 decliners). The best performing stocks today were INTBREW (+10.2%), FORTE (+10.2%) and DANGSUGAR (+10.0%) while FBNH (-9.2%), FCMB (-6.7%) and UBN (-4.9%) declined the most. While the equities market is expected to outperform in the near term due to positive macroeconomic developments that have buoyed confidence, we note that the sustained moderation in market breadth suggests investors are booking profit. Hence, momentum of gains might slow in subsequent sessions.