Equities Kick-Start the Week in Red

The bearish close witnessed at the end of trading last week was extended on Monday’s session as the All Share Index (ASI) shed another 0.4% to close at 34,873.07 points. Consequently, YTD gain moderated further to 29.8% while market capitalization fell N46.5bn to settle at N12.0tn. NIGERIAN BREWERIES (-2.9%), SEPLAT (-5.0%) and FBNH (-3.4%) were the major drags to market performance today. However, activity level remained mixed as volume traded rose 1.6% to 162.7m units while value traded fell 48.0% to N1.5bn.

Sector Indices close Mixed
Sector performance was mixed as 3 of 5 indices closed in the red. The loser's chart was chaired by the Oil & Gas index which plunged 3.0% on account of profit taking in SEPLAT (-8.6%) and sell-offs in OANDO (-5.0%). The Consumer Goods index followed with a loss of 1.2% as a result of a decline in NIGERIAN BREWERIES (-2.9%) whilst the Industrial Goods index moderated 0.8% on account of WAPCO (-1.9%). On the Gainer's chart, the Banking index led with a 0.9% gain on the back of GUARANTY (+2.7%) while the Insurance index added 0.2% due to upticks in NEM (+2.5%) and LINKASSURE (+1.7%).

Investor Sentiment Improves
Investor sentiment improved today as market breadth came in higher at 0.8x, albeit negative (from 0.4x recorded on Friday), on account of 14 advancing stocks against 17 decliners. The best performers were AIRSERVICE (+4.9%), CADBURY (+4.7%) and CILEASING (+4.2%) while NEIMETH (-8.6%), SEPLAT (-5.0%) and OANDO (-5.0%) were the worst performers. Given our medium-term positive outlook on the equities market, the continuous downtrend in performance presents opportunities for investors who were unable to partake in the April-led rally; hence we expect to see an uptrend in market performance as investors source for bargains.