The Nigerian equities market reversed a 2-day downtrend today as the All Share Index (ASI) advanced 0.2% to 36,732.24 points while YTD return increased to 36.7%. Consequently, market capitalization added N27.3bn to settle at N12.6tn. Today’s positive performance was majorly due to buy interest in NIGERIAN BREWERIES (+0.6%), NESTLE (+0.7%) and STANBIC (+2.9%). In the same vein, activity level improved as volume and value traded spiked 31.9% and 73.1% to 443.7m units and N3.2bn respectively.
Banking Index Emerges Lone Sector Loser
Performance across sectors was bullish as all indices, save for the Banking index which was dragged 0.3% lower due to depreciation in GUARANTY (-0.7%) and UBN (-4.2%), closed in the green. The Insurance index appreciated the most, up 2.1% against the backdrop of sustained interest in MANSARD (+6.5%) and LINKASSURE (+5.0%). Similarly, the Consumer Goods index trailed, rising 0.6% following a rally in NIGERIAN BREWERIES (+0.6%) and NESTLE (+0.7%). Likewise, the Oil & Gas index was nudged 0.2% higher owing to renewed appetite in FORTE (+2.0%) while the Industrial Goods index closed flat.
Investor Sentiment Strengthens
Investor sentiment strengthened today as the market breadth improved to 2.5x (from 1.1x recorded yesterday) after 30 stocks advanced against 12 decliners. At the top of the gainers’ chart were MANSARD (+6.5%), DIAMOND (+5.0%) and LINKASSURE (+5.0%) while UPL (-4.9%), FIDSON (-4.6%) and NEIMETH (-4.2%) topped the losers’ chart. Given the upturn in today’s market performance and the significant improvement in market breadth, we expect sentiment to remain strong in anticipation of positive Q3:2017 earnings. As a result, we expect the benchmark index to close the week positive.