Nigerian equities recorded marginal gains Tuesday as market performance could barely lift benchmark index, the NSEASI, up 0.04 percent to close 43,073.42 points higher.
The day’s performance was largely driven by price appreciation in DANGCEM (+1.3%), which offset losses in ZENITH (-1.8%), UNILEVER (-4.9%) and DANGSUGAR (-4.5%). In other words, without DANGCEM the NSEASI would have shed 48bps as investors took profit in a big cap, Zenith.
Consequently, market year-to-date (YTD) return at the close of trade stood at 12.6 percent while market capitalization increased by N6.0bn to N15.4 trillion.
Activity level was however mixed as volume traded fell 5.4 percent to 407.8 million units while value traded inched 9.9 percent higher to N6.0 billion.
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The top traded stocks by volume today were ZENITH (70.2m), FBNH (53.0m) and MANSARD (50.4m) while ZENITH (N2.1bn), NIGERIAN BREWERIES (N0.6bn) and FBNH (N0.6bn) were the top traded stocks by value.
Performance across sectors was mixed as three of five indices closed northwards. The insurance index appreciated the most, up 1.3 percent as investors took position in NEM (+1.7%), LINKASSURE (+0.9%) and MANSARD (+0.9%).
The oil & gas and industrial goods index trailed, up 0.9 percent and 0.7 percent respectively following gains in MOBIL (+5.0%), TOTAL (+1.2%) and DANGCEM (+1.3%).
Conversely, the banking index shed 0.8 percent on the back of sell-offs in bellwethers – ZENITH (-1.8%), GUARANTY (-0.5%) and ETI (-1.0%).
The losses recorded in ZENITH on the day is surprising to many analysts expected a positive reaction to the release of an impressive FY:2017 result.
Also, the consumer goods index fell 0.4 percent as UNILEVER (-4.9%) and DANGSUGAR (-4.5%) recorded losses.
Investor sentiment measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) improved – albeit still negative – to 0.7x from 0.5x recorded previously consequent on 26 stocks that advanced relative to 37 decliners.
The best performing stocks were CUTIX (+6.1%), MOBIL (+5.0%) and LINKASSURE (+4.9%) while JAPAUL OIL (-8.3%), FTNCOCOA (-6.5%) and UNITYCAP (-8.3%) led laggards.
Despite the shock reactions to Zenith results, analysts still believe FY:2017 earnings would drive market performance in the near term.