The Nigerian equities market pared gains from previous session Wednesday due largely to sell-offs in major bellwethers, including DANGCEM (-1.2%), FBNH (-9.0%) and ZENITH (-1.4%).
This is despite improved activity level as volume and value traded rose 42.1 percent and 43.0 percent to 350.4 million units and N4.6 billion respectively. FBNH (80.1m), UBA (60.0m) and FIDELITY (40.6m) were the most traded stocks by volume while FBNH (N1.0bn), UBA (N684.5m) and FLOURMILL (N538.2m) were the top traded stocks by value.
Specifically, the bourse closed in the red with the benchmark index, the NSEASI, shedding 12 basis points (0.12%) to settle at 40,755.73 points, which was chiefly driven by losses in DANGCEM, without which the market would have closed positive (+32bps).
Consequently, year-to-date (YTD) return moderated to 6.6 percent from 6.7 percent it closed previously. To this end, market capitalization lost N17.2 billion to close N14.7 trillion.
Performance across sectors was largely bullish as three of five indices under coverage trended upwards. The oil & gas index appreciated the most, up 2.3 percent as a result of buying interest in SEPLAT (+3.8%) and FORTE (+10.2%).
The consumer goods index trailed, closing 1.7 percent higher, due to bargain hunting in NESTLE (+5.0%) while gains in GUARANTY (+0.6%) and UBA (+1.8%) pushed the banking index up 0.2 percent.
On the flip side, the industrial goods and insurances indices lost 1.4 percent and 0.8 percent respectively following price depreciation in DANGCEM (-1.2%), WAPCO (-2.0%) and CONTINSURE (-4.4%).
Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) improved to 1.1x from 1.0x recorded in the preceding session as 24 stocks advanced against 22 decliners.
The day’s top performers were FORTE (+10.2%), PRESCO (+5.0%) and NESTLE (+5.0%) while FBNH (-9.0%), SKYE (-5.7%) and OANDO (-4.9%) were the worst performing stocks.
Despite the negative market performance, investor sentiment slightly increased, which informs analysts outlook for a positive performance in the near term. They expect bargain hunting to rule the market driven by investors’ reaction to the Q1:2018 results.