The equities market reversed a 2-day downtrend at the close of trade today as the All Share Index (ASI) rose 40bps to 37,933.86 points while YTD return expanded to 41.2%. Thus, market capitalization increased by N53.4bn to settle at N13.5tn. Today’s positive performance can majorly be attributed to buy interest in large cap stocks - NESTLE (+2.1%), GUARANTY (+1.5%), SEPLAT (+5.0%) and DANGCEM (+0.2%). However, activity level declined as volume and value traded fell 68.0% and 37.6% to 207.9m units and N3.4bn respectively.
Oil & Gas Index Leads Bullish Sector Performance
Performance across sectors was bullish as all indices closed positive. The Oil & Gas index appreciated the most, up 2.5% on the back of price appreciations in SEPLAT (+5.0%). The Consumer Goods and Insurance indices followed suit, rising 0.6% and 0.2% respectively due to gains in NESTLE (+2.1%), UNILEVER (+4.5%), LINKASSURE (+5.0%) and CONTINSURE (+0.7%). Similarly, buy interest in DANGCEM (+0.2%) drove the Industrial Goods index 0.1% higher while the Banking index marginally improved 2bps following an uptick in GUARANTY (+1.5%).
Investor Sentiment Strengthens
Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth (advancers/decliners ratio) strengthened to 1.2x from 0.6x recorded yesterday, consequent on 23 stocks advancing against 20 stocks that declined. The best performing stocks for the day were LINKASSURE (+5.0%), CHAMPION (+5.0%) and SEPLAT (+5.0%) while FLOURMILL (-5.0%), PZ (-5.0%) and GLAXOSMITH (-5.0%) were the worst performers. As noticed today, investors took position in stocks that had declined in prior sessions, hence, we expect bargain hunting to continue to drive market performance in subsequent trading sessions.