In line with the equities market correction currently being experienced across the developed markets, the Nigerian All Share index (ASI) extended losses into the second consecutive trading session, down 0.9% to close at 43,877.30 points while YTD return further moderated to 14.7%.

Accordingly, investors lost N138.2bn as market capitalization reduced to N15.7tn. Today’s negative performance is largely on account of broad based sell-offs across sectors, although banking stocks – ZENITH (-4.4%) FBNH (-5.2%), UBA (-2.4%) and GUARANTY (-0.7%) were the main drags on performance.

However, activity level strengthened as volume and value traded surged 68.0% and 77.5% to 717.2m units and N4.9bn respectively.

All Sectors Close in the Red
Sector performance was bearish as all indices closed in the red. The Banking index was the biggest loser, shedding 2.1% following price depreciation in market bellwethers – ZENITH (-4.4%), UBA (-2.4%) and GUARANTY (-0.7%).

The Industrial Goods index followed, falling 1.0% owing to losses in WAPCO (-1.1%) and CCNN (-0.8%) while the Insurance index declined 0.5% on the back of sell offs in MANSARD (-3.4%) and CUSTODIAN (-2.1%). Similarly, the Oil & Gas index slid 0.4% as MOBIL (-2.8%) and FORTE (-0.2%) closed lower while the Consumer Goods index shed 0.3% due to profit taking in UNILEVER(-4.4%) and FLOURMILLS (-4.7%).

Investor Sentiment Softens 
Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) softened to 0.4x from 0.6x recorded the previous session as 18 stocks advanced against 48 decliners. The top performing stocks today were PRESTIGE (+7.7%), CAVERTON (+6.9%) and AFRINSURE (+5.0%) while HMARKINS (-9.1%), SKYE (-8.9%) and TRANSCORP (-6.8%) were the worst performers.

Following sustained sell offs across global equity markets, we anticipate a further decline in the local bourse in trading sessions ahead. As a result, we envisage possible bargain opportunities for investors ahead of the full year earnings season.