Mixed Performance as Equities Halt Bullish Run

The equities market reversed a 3-day gaining streak yesterday, as the All Share Index (ASI) fell 3bps to close at 36,887.15 points, while YTD return moderated to 37.2%. The negative performance was largely due to profit taking in NIGERIAN BREWERIES (-3.2%), DANGCEM (-0.2%) and UNILEVER (-2.4%). As a result, market capitalization reduced by N3.5bn to settle at N12.8tn. However, activity level was mixed as volume traded inched 27.6% higher to 318.1m units while value traded declined 24.1% to N4.0bn respectively.

Mixed Performance across Sectors
Sector performance was mixed at the close of trade. The Banking and Insurance indices closed positive, rising 0.7% apiece due to a rally in UBA (+4.1%), ETI (+1.2%), MANSARD (+2.9%) and CONTINSURE (+2.3%). On the flip side, the Consumer Goods index depreciated the most, down 1.2% due to profit taking in NIGERIAN BREWERIES (-3.2%), UNILEVER (-2.4%) and PZ (-4.0%). Similarly, losses in DANGCEM (-0.2%) dragged the Industrial Goods index 0.1% lower. However, the Oil & Gas index closed flat.
Investor Sentiment Strengthens
Investor sentiment further strengthened as market breadth (advancers/decliners' ratio) improved to 1.5x - from 1.0x recorded in the previous trading session - consequent on 27 stocks advancing against 18 that declined. The top performers were FBNH (+9.2%), FLOURMILL (+4.9) and UPL (+4.9%) while CUSTODYINS (-5.0%), TRANSEXPR (-4.9%) and AIRSERVICE (-4.9%) were the worst performers. Although market performance was dragged by profit taking, investor sentiment strengthened. Hence, we expect to see a rebound in subsequent trading sessions.  Our view is further buttressed by the sustained rally in oil prices – above US$60.00/b- which is expected to have a positive knock on impact on the broader economy.