Equity market halts two days uptrend, sheds 0.09%


The equity market on Thursday reversed uptrend after two consecutive days in the green, posting a decline of 0.09 percent.
However, the All Share Index (ASI) close at 40,813.69 points while tear to date return moderated to 6.7 percent. Resultantly, investors lost N13.6 billion in value as market capitalization fell to N14.7 trillion. The bearish performance today was largely on the back of losses in market bellwethers – Dangote Cement (-0.8 percent), Unilever Nigeria (-3.5 percent) and Zenith Bank (-1.0 percent). Activity level softened as volume and value traded fell 44.1 percent and 41.4 percent to 205.3 million units and N3.1 billion respectively. The top traded stocks by volume in today’s trading session were UBA (30.2 million), Zenith Bank (28.1 million) and Guaranty Trust Bank (21.8 million) while Guaranty Trust Bank (N938.2 million), Zenith Bank (727.9 million) and UBA (328.4 million) were the top traded stocks by value.
Performance across sectors was broadly bullish despite the overall negative performance as 4 of 5 indices under our coverage closed in the green. The Insurance index was the top performer, inching 0.5 percent as gains in Continental Reinsurance (+5.0 percent), Wapic Insurance (+1.9 percent) and Prestige Assurance (+4.3 percent) buoyed performance. The Oil & Gas index followed closely, gaining 0.5 percent following upticks in 11 Plc (+4.2 percent). Similarly, price appreciation in Lafarge Africa (+0.8 percent) pushed the Industrial Goods index 0.1 percent northwards while the Banking index closed today’s trading session 3 basis points higher consequent on bargain hunting in ETI (+4.8 percent), Wema Bank (+9.1 percent) and Sterling Bank (+5.1 percent). On the flipside, the Consumer Goods index was the lone decliner, shedding 3 basis points due to profit taking in International Breweries (-0.7 percent) and Unilever Nigeria (-3.5 percent).
Investor sentiment measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) weakened from 1.4x recorded in the previous session to 0.9x as 20 stocks advanced against 23 stocks that declined. The top performing stocks were Oando (+10.0 percent), Wema Bank (+9.1 percent) and Skye Bank (+8.8 percent) while Courtville (-9.1 percent), Japaul Oil (-7.0 percent) and Hallmark Insurance (-6.1 percent) were the worst performing stocks.