Bulls Retain Hold amidst Renewed Buy Sentiment

The Nigerian bourse sustained its positive momentum in today’s session as the NSE All Share Index (ASI) rose 0.2% to close at a month high of 33,514.93 points while YTD return expanded to +24.7%. Performance in today’s session was broadly buoyed by renewed buy sentiment towards Banking Stocks – ZENITH (+2.1%), STANBIC (+3.1%), FBNH (4.2%), and GUARANTY (+0.8%) - which offset losses in DANGCEM (-1.0%) and NESTLE (-1.8%). Accordingly, investors recouped N27.0bn in value as market capitalization increased to N11.6tn. Also, activity level improved as volume and value traded increased 2.4% and 69.5% to 331.4m units and N3.2bn respectively.

Mixed Performance across Sectors
Performance across sectors was mixed as 2 of 5 indices closed in the green. The Oil & Gas index advanced the most, up 1.4% on the back of price appreciation in OANDO (+5.0%), whilst renewed buying interest in ZENITH (+2.1%) and STANBIC (+3.1%) drove the Banking index 1.1% higher. On the flip side, the Insurance and Industrial Goods indices dipped 0.5% apiece against the backdrop of losses in MANSARD (-4.3%) and DANGCEM (-1.0%). The Consumer Goods index closed flattish as gains in NIGERIAN BREWERIES (+0.6%) offset losses in NESTLE (-1.8%).

Investor Sentiment Wanes
Investor sentiment as reflected by the market breadth (advancers/decliners’ ratio) softened to 1.0x (from 1.3x recorded yesterday) – 24 stocks advanced against 23 that declined. The top gainers were TRANSCORP (+8.8%), SKYEBANK (+5.0%) and PZ (+5.0%) while PRESCO (-5.0%), MRS (-5.0%) and LIVESTOCK (-4.4%) were the worst losers. As half year corporate scorecards begin to trickle in, we expect market performance to remain largely bullish - driven by positive earnings expectation.