After depreciating on the first three trading days of the year, Nigerian equities sustained the uptrend observed last Friday as the All Share Index recorded a 1.3% appreciation at the close of trade on Monday. Performance today was largely driven by a rebound in the prices of DANGCEM (+1.2%), UCAP (+9.6%), TOTAL (+0.3%) and GUARANTY (+4.9%). Consequently, market capitalization improved N113.1bn to settle at N9.2tn. Activity however waned as volume and value traded declined 0.6% and 7.4% to 209.0m units and N1.4bn with a total of 3,423 deals.
Mixed Performance across Sectors
Performance by sector closed mixed as three indices appreciated out of five. The Banking index recorded the highest gains (+4.0%) on account of renewed buying interest in ZENITH (+4.9%) and GUARANTY (+4.9%). The Industrial Goods index followed, up 0.6% due to appreciation in DANGCEM (+1.2%) while CONTINSURE (+5.0%) pulled the Insurance index 0.3% higher. On the other hand, the Consumer Goods and Oil & Gas indices were dragged by declines in 7UP (-5.0%), CADBURY (-4.9%), ETERNA (-3.0%) and FORTE (-0.3%).
Investor Sentiment Swings to the Positive Region
Investor sentiment strengthened as market breadth improved to 1.3x (from 0.8x on Friday) with 20 stocks advancing against 16 declining stocks. The best performing stocks today were UCAP (+9.6%), FCMB (+9.4%) and FIDELITYBK (+8.4%) while 7UP (-5.0%), ASHAKACEM (-5.0%) and CADBURY (-4.9%) declined the most. We are of the view that today’s performance may be attributed to bargain hunting in bellwether stocks. We advise investors to trade cautiously and stay invested in the value stocks.