Profit Taking Drags the Local Bourse Southwards

The equities market closed southwards for the third consecutive trading day as the All Share Index  (ASI) shed 77bps to settle at 43,538.16 points on Wednesday while YTD return further moderated to 13.8%. Consequently, market capitalization fell by N121.5bn to settle at N15.6tn. Today’s negative close can be largely attributed to sell pressure across board with market bellwethers – DANGCEM (-2.2%), NIGERIAN BREWERIES (-2.0%) and STANBIC (-3.5%) weighing the most on performance. Also, activity level softened as volume and value traded declined 29.1% and 6.9% to 508.3m units and N4.5bn respectively.
 
Banking Index Emerges Lone Gainer
Performance across sectors was largely bearish as all indices closed in the red save the Banking index which trended 0.6% northwards following gains in ZENITH (+2.6%) and UBA (+1.2%). The Industrial Goods index led laggards, as losses in DANGCEM (-2.2%) dragged the index 1.1% lower. Similarly, the Insurance and Oil & Gas indices lost 0.8% apiece, following price depreciation in AIICO (-4.5%), NEM (-3.2%), MOBIL (-5.0%) and TOTAL (-0.4%). Also, the Consumer Goods index slid 0.3% as FLOURMILL (-0.6%) and DANGFLOUR (-0.6%) closed the day in the red.

Investor Sentiment Improves
Investor sentiment as measured by market breath (advance/decline ratio) strengthened to 0.5x from 0.4x recorded in the previous session as 18 stocks advanced against 40 decliners. The top performing stocks were CAVERTON (+9.7%), LINKASSURE (+6.8%) and LASACO (+5.9%) while UNIC (-9.5%), SKYE (-8.9%) and WEMA (-8.8%) were the worst performers. Against the backdrop of sustained profit taking since the start of the week, we expect performance in subsequent trading sessions to remain negative. However, in light of lower pricing on fundamentally sound stocks we also anticipate more activity in the coming week as investors seek bargain opportunities.

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