Equities extends positive performance with 0.2% gain


The domestic bourse sustained a positive start to the week as the NSE All Share Index (ASI) gained 0.2 percent to settle at 43,609.77 points while year till date return expanded to 14.0 percent. In turn, investors gained N34.4 billion in value as market capitalization increased to N15.7 trillion. Today’s performance was majorly due to positive sentiment in Unilever Nigeria (+10.2%), Seplat Petroleum Development Company (+3.3 percent) and Dangote Sugar (+4.9 percent). Similarly, activity level strengthened as volume and value traded rose 76.8 percent and 3.8 percent to 445.5 million units and N5.9 billion respectively. The top trades by volume were Sterling Bank (101.9 million), Fidelity Bank (49.2 million) and Zenith Bank (37.9 million) while Guaranty Trust Bank (N1.5 billion), Zenith Bank (N1.2 billion) and Nestle Nigeria (N741.9 million) were the top traded by value.
However, performance across sectors was largely positive as all indices closed in the green save for the Banking index which shed 0.3 percent following losses in Guaranty Trust Bank (-1.7 percent), Access Bank (-2.2 percent) and Sterling Bank (-4.6 percent). On the flipside, the oil & gas index was the top gainer for the second consecutive session, inching 1.4 percent higher as sustained interest in SEPLAT (+3.3 percent) and Japaul Oil (+8.7 percent) continued to drive performance. Also, the consumer goods index (+0.9 percent) trended northwards, on account of upticks in Unilever Nigeria (+10.2 percent) and Dangote Sugar (+4.9 percent) while the Insurance index improved 0.1 percent following price appreciation in NEM Insurance (+1.7 percent) and Continental Reinsurance (+1.2 percent). The industrial goods index marginally increased 1bp on the back of gains in CCNN (+0.8 percent).
Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) weakened to 0.9x from 1.3x recorded the previous session consequent on 26 stocks that advanced against 29 decliners. The top performing stocks were Unilever Nigeria (+10.2 percent), Caverton Services Group (+9.9 percent) and JAPAUL OIL (+8.7 percent) while Regal Insurance (-9.1 percent), Multiverse (-7.4 percent) and Wema Bank (-5.0 percent) were the worst performers.
Analysts anticipated sustained uptrend in subsequent trading sessions as investors continue to take position in anticipation of positive corporate earnings.