The equities market closed negative on Thursday, as the All Share Index (ASI) tumbled 1.1% to close at 27,212.09 points. Accordingly, investors lost N97.4bn as market capitalization settled at N9.0tn. The decline was majorly driven by sell sentiment in market heavyweight - DANGCEM (-4.0%). Ex-DANGCEM, the ASI would have gained 35bps. However, market activity improved as volume and value traded rose 121.8% and 14.4% to close at 137.7m units and N898.7m respectively.
Mixed Sector Performance
Sector performance was mixed as 3 indices gained while 2 declined. The Industrial Goods index chaired the losers’ chart with a loss of 1.8% dragged by DANGCEM (-4.0%). The Consumer Goods index followed, closing 29bps lower on account of price depreciation in GUINNESS (-5.0%) and DANGFLOUR (-4.9%) while the Oil & Gas index slid 14bps due to a price decline in FORTE (-3.4%). On the Contrary, the Banking index gained 1.7% as investors took position in GUARANTY(+2.5%) and ACCESS (+4.9%) while the Insurance index (+0.7%) trailed on the back of gains in CONTINSURE (+4.2%) and WAPIC (+3.9%).
Market Breadth turns Positive
Despite today’s negative close, investors sentiment improved as reflected in the breadth which settled at 1.1x (17 advancing stocks against 16 decliners) relative to 0.8x in the previous session. The best performing stocks were UAC-PROP (+7.3%), OANDO (+5.6%) and ACCESS (+5.0%) while NAHCO (-9.5%), GUINNESS (-5.0%) and DANGFLOUR (-4.9%) were the worst performers. As noted above, today’s negative close despite the improvement in sentiment can be attributed to a price decline in DANGCEM. Notwithstanding, the below-trend level of trading volume suggests investors' interest in equities remains weak and we expect the market to close negative for the week.