Market Opens Lower on Profit Taking

In line with expectation, the equities market opened the week negative as the All Share Index fell 88bps to 38,913.99 points while YTD return retreated to 44.8%. Consequently, investors lost N119.6bn in value as market capitalization settled at N13.6tn. Market performance today can be primarily attributed to profit taking in bellwether Industrial Goods and Banking stocks - DANGCEM (-1.7%), ZENITH (-3.3%) and UBA (-5.0%). In the same vein, activity level declined as average volume and value fell 33.9% and 4.0% to 350.6m units and N4.9bn respectively.

Banking Index Leads Laggards
Similar to the broader index, sector performance was largely underwhelming as 3 of 5 indices closed southwards. The Banking index led laggards, down 2.0% on the back of losses in ZENITH (-3.3%), UBA (- 5.0%) and GUARANTY (-0.8%). The Industrial Goods Index trailed, depreciating 1.4%, primarily on the back of profit taking in DANGCEM (-1.7%) and WAPCO (-1.2%). Similarly, selling pressures on NEM (-3.9%) and LINKASSURE (-4.4%) dragged the Insurance index 1.1% lower. On the flip side, the Oil & Gas and Consumer Goods indices gained 1.1% and 0.7% respectively as MOBIL (+9.5%), TOTAL (+0.9%), NESTLE (+3.5%) and FLOURMILL (+6.4%) enjoyed buy interest.

Investor Sentiment Weakens
Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) weakened to 0.5x relative to 1.5x recorded the previous Friday as 13 stocks advanced against 28 stocks that declined. Top performing stocks were MOBIL (+9.5%), NASCON (+5.0) and NEIMETH (+4.3%) while UBA (-5.0%), LEARNAFRCA (-5.0%) and CILEASING (-4.9%) were the worst performers. In line with our expectation, market performance was negative as investors booked profit in large-cap stocks which rallied the previous week. Nonetheless, we maintain a positive outlook in the near term as fund managers return to strategic weightings during year-end rebalancing cycle.

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