Investors at the Nigeria’s equities market Wednesday booked profit and recouped previous day gains as benchmark index, the all-share, closed down 0.02 percent to settle at 32,375.12 points, signaling dominance of short term appetite.
Analysts who spoke to business a.m. said the seeming dominance of short term appetite is not unconnected with the growing uncertainty in the polity as the 2019 general election draws near.
“Investors are watching the politicians as they prepare for their campaigns and would take nothing for granted, hence they are more inclined to book profit immediately,” an analysts said.
The profit taking, which was more in large-cap stocks such as INTBREW (-6.3%), FBNH (-2.9%) and UBA (-2.6%) increased year-to-date (YTD) losses to -15.3 percent, hence, N2.1 billion was wiped-off market capitalisation to close N11.8 trillion.
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Activity level was weakened as volume and value traded declined 29.6 percent and 33.2 percent to 190.0 million units and N1.8 billion respectively.
REDSTAREX (N60.3m), ZENITH (24.2m), and OANDO (22.1m) led top traded by volume while ZENITH (N500.3m), REDSTAREX (N298.2m) and SEPLAT (N193.1m) led top traded by value.
However, the performance across sector remained bullish as 3 of 5 major sub-sectoral indices closed positive.
The oil & gas index emerged the biggest gainer as bargain hunting in FORTE (+10.0%) and OANDO (+4.0%) pulled the index up by 1.1 percent.
Similarly, the banking and industrial goods indices gained 0.4 percent apiece on the back of price appreciation in UBN (+6.4%), GUARANTY (+0.9%) and CCNN (+9.7%).
On the flip side, the insurance index shed the most, down 1.3 percent resulting from sell-offs in MANSARD (-9.7%) and CORNERST (-4.8%) while the consumer goods index fell 0.4 percent, resulting from sell pressures in INTBREW (-6.3%) and PZ (-7.4%).
Investor sentiment improved as measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) further strengthened to 1.9x from 1.5x recorded yesterday as 24 stocks appreciated compared with 13 decliners.
FORTE (+10.0%), CCNN (+9.7%) and REGALINS (+9.1%) were best performing while MANSARD (-9.6%), CAPOIL (-8.07) and PZ (-7.4%) led laggards.
Despite the flip-flop of performance in the market in recent weeks, there was a marginal improvement in sentiments as a result of investors positioning in fundamentally sound stocks, which have informed some analysts to forecast improved performance before the week runs to a close.