Losses in the equities market were extended into the third consecutive trading session as the All Share Index fell 96bps to close on Wednesday at 43,963.40 points while YTD return further moderated to 15.0%. Accordingly, market capitalisation fell to N15.8tn as investors lost N143.0bn. Although sell pressure was recorded across board, sustained profit taking in banking stocks - GUARANTY (-2.1%), ZENITH (-3.1%) and FBNH (-4.0%) - was the major drag to today’s negative close. Likewise, activity level softened as volume and value traded declined 27.3% and 32.4% to 536.4m units and N5.2bn respectively.
Mixed Sector Performance
Sector Performance was mixed as 3 of 5 indices closed in the red. The Banking index led laggards, closing 3.1% lower following declines in GUARANTY (-2.1%), ZENITH (-3.1%) and ACCESS (-3.9%). Similarly, the Insurance index lost 1.9% on price depreciation in CONTINSURE (-4.7%) and CUSTODIAN (-1.3%) while sell-offs in ETERNA (-4.9%) pulled the Oil & Gas index 0.1% lower. On the flip side, the Consumer and Industrial Goods indices appreciated 0.5% apiece, buoyed by buying interest in NIGERIAN BREWERIES (+2.1%), NESTLE (+0.3%) and WAPCO (+1.0%).
Investor Sentiment Stays Flat
Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth (advance/ decline ratio) stayed flat at 0.3x – same as yesterday - consequent on 11 stocks advancing against 43 decliners. Today’s best performing stocks were MAYBAKER (+4.9%), TRANSEXPRESS (+4.0%) and WAPIC (+3.6%) while the worst performers were FCMB (-9.7%), DIAMOND (-9.6%) and FIDELITY (-9.5%). Following three consecutive days of sustained profit taking by investors, we do not rule out the possibility of some bargain hunting in subsequent trading sessions.