Equity market maintains downtrend, sheds 0.46%


Investors in the equities market were downbeat, with the All Share Index (ASI) declining by 0.46 percent to 41,495.43 points while year to date gain contracted to 8.5 percent. Consequently, market capitalization decreased by N68.6 billion to N14.8 trillion. Today’s negative performance was largely driven by sell pressures in Nestle Nigeria (-2.2 percent), Stanbic IBTC (-4.5 percent) and Lafarge Africa (-6.6 percent). However, market activity improved as volume and value traded inched 22.7 percent and 44.4 percent higher to 488.7 million units and N5.6 billion respectively. Africa Insurance (82.8 million), Japaul Oil (75.6 million) and Fidelity Bank (63.9 million) were the top traded stocks by volume while Dangote Cement (N1.1 trillion), Guaranty Trust Bank (N886.6 million) and Nigerian Breweries (N867.7 million) led the top traded stocks by value.
Sector performance was largely bearish as 3 indices closed in the red, 1 closed positive while the other closed flat. The Industrial Goods index led losers, down 2.5 percent following price depreciation in Lafarge Africa (-6.6 percent). The Insurance index followed suit, falling 1.9 percent as Mansard Insurance (-7.4 percent) and Unity Kapital (-7.7 percent) recorded losses. The Consumer Goods index also declined, shedding 0.7 percent largely due to profit taking in Nestle Nigetia (-2.2 percent), Nigerian Breweries (-0.9 percent) and PZ (-4.9 percent). On the flip side, the Banking index gained 0.1 percent as investors took position in UBA (+4.1 percent), Zenith Bank (+1.1 percent) and Guaranty Trust Bank (+0.3 percent). while the Oil & Gas index however closed the day flat.
Investor sentiment measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) improved to 0.6x from 0.5x recorded the previous day as 18 stocks advanced against 33 that declined. The best performing stocks today were Fidelity Bank (+7.8 percent), GlaxoSmithKline (+5.0 percent) and Dangote Flour (+5.0 percent) while Cadbury Nigeria (-9.6 percent), Unity Kapital (-9.4 percent) and Mansard Insurance (-7.4 percent) were the worst performers.