The positive trend in the equities market reversed Thursday as the all-share index declined 0.29 percent to close at 36,517.48 points majorly on profit taking in some major caps. Thus the bourse’s year-to-date gain moderated to 35.9 percent.
Market performance was influenced largely by profit taking in NIGERIAN BREWERIES (-3.7%), INTBREW (-5.0%) and GUARANTY (-0.7%). Consequently, market capitalization lost N36.4 billion to settle at N12.6 trillion. However, market activity was mixed as volume traded rose 7.2 percent, while value fell 9.4 percent to close at 356.8 million units and N4.2 billion respectively.
Sectorial performance was largely bearish with the industrial goods index emerging the lone gainer due to bargain hunting in WAPCO (+2.9%). The Insurance index led losers, down 1.2 percent on account of persistent sell-offs in MANSARD (-3.5%) and NEM (-5.0%).
The consumer goods index followed closely, down 1.0 percent, consequent on investors’ negative reaction towards NIGERIAN BREWERIES (-3.7%) and profit taking in INTBREW (-5.0%). Similarly, the oil & gas index lost 0.5 percent on account of declines in FORTE (-5.0%) and MOBIL (-0.3%) just as declines in GUARANTY (-0.7%) and UBA (-0.6%) pulled the banking index 20 basis points lower.
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Investor sentiment weakened as market breadth (advancer/decliners ratio) stood at 0.7x from 2.0x recorded in the previous session.
Market top performers were NASCON (+10.2%), DANGFLOUR (+10.1%) and DANGSUGAR (+8.8%), while NEM (-5.0%), FORTE (-5.0%) and INTBREW (-5.0%) were the worst performers.
Analysts say the outcome of Thursday negative performance indicates Q3 earnings report releases would continue to dictate market performance in the near term. However, they advise investors stay bullish on stocks with strong fundamentals.
At the global stage, U.S. stocks traded higher on Thursday as the latest set of earnings reports gave investors a positive surprise.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 87 points as Nike added to its Wednesday gains after the company raised growth targets at its investor day. Shares were up more than 3.5 percent to lead the index higher.
The S&P 500 gained 0.3 percent. Union Pacific rose 4.1 percent after the company reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings.
The Nasdaq composite advanced 0.1 percent. Tech giants Alphabet, Microsoft and Amazon are all scheduled to report quarterly results Thursday after the close.
Equally, Markets in Europe closed higher Thursday after the European Central Bank (ECB) announced that it plans to extend, but reduce, its bond-buying program.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed provisionally higher, with almost all sectors in positive territory following the announcement.
The STOXX 600 extended gains, after U.S. stocks started the trading day mostly in positive territory.
The ECB said it would be slashing the level of bond purchases in half from 60 billion euros ($70.7 billion) to 30 billion euros, with the move expected to start at the beginning of 2018. Following the announcement, the euro dropped against the U.S. dollar, trading down around 0.98 percent at $1.169 before the close of business.