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LAGOS (Capital Markets in Africa) – The benchmark index closed negative today as investors booked profit on stocks which had gained last week. As a result, the All Share Index (ASI) lost 45bps to close at 25,626.39 points, pushing YTD loss to 4.6% while market capitalization settled at N8.9tn. Today’s performance was dragged by losses in NIGERIAN BREWERIES (-2.0%), GUARANTY (-0.8%) and ETI (-2.8%). However, activity level was mixed as volume traded rose 77.7% to 191.8m units while value traded fell 35.6% to settle at N584.7m.
Bearish Performance across Sectors
Sector indices were largely bearish as the Oil & Gas index emerged the sole gaining sector with a marginal appreciation of 4bps, buoyed solely by gains in TOTAL (+4.1%) which offset the decline in OANDO (-4.8%). The Consumer Goods index shed 1.4% as DANGSUGAR (-4.4%) was adjusted for dividend while investors sold off on NIGERIAN BREWERIES (-2.0%). Similarly, the Insurance index lost 1.1% as sell pressure on AIICO (-3.8%) and CONTINSURE (-3.9%) weighed on the sector while the Banking index declined 47bps due to losses in GUARANTY (-0.8%) and ETI (-2.8%). The Industrial Goods index closed flat.
Market Breadth Turns Negative
Investor sentiment deteriorated today as reflected in market breadth which fell to 0.4x (8 stocks advanced against 21 which declined) relative to 1.2x in the previous session. The best performing companies today were FIDELITY (+9.5%), TOTAL (+4.1%) and CILEASING (+3.6%) while OANDO (-4.7%), UNITY (-4.7%) and TRANSEXPR (-4.4%) led laggards. The decline in performance today was in line with projection as investors expectedly took a breather following two weeks of positive momentum. Whilst we believe upsides to equities are capped by subsisting capital controls which restrict foreign investor participation, our outlook for the market remains positive for April as we expect strong first Quarter earnings, due for release this month, to further propel market performance.
NASD OTC Exchange Market Activities
In the NASD OTC exchange, the total volume and value of transactions traded stood at 1.1m units and N9.8m respectively while only 3 counters traded. CSCS declined 7.8% to close the day at N6.12 while NIPCO and NDEP remained unchanged.
Source: Afrinvestor Research Website