Performance of the domestic bourse remained on the uptrend yesterday as the All Share Index (ASI) increased 0.2% to settle 42,258.78 points while YTD return improved to 10.5%. Consequently, investors gained N36.1bn in value as market capitalisation rose to N15.2tn.

Sustained buying interest in financials, especially in UBA (+3.2%), FBNH (+3.1%) and ZENITH (+3.1%), was the main driver of the positive performance. However, activity level softened as volume and value traded dipped 40.0% and 41.9% to 342.1m units and N3.1bn respectively.

Largely Positive Performance across Sectors 
Performance across sectors was largely positive as all indices, save for the Consumer Goods index which shed 0.3% largely on the back of losses in NIGERIAN BREWERIES (-1.3%) and DANGSUGAR (-2.7%), trended northwards.

The Banking and Oil & Gas indices appreciated 0.7% apiece due to a rally in ZENITH (+3.1%), UBA (+3.2%) and TOTAL (+4.8%). In the same vein, bargain hunting in WAPIC (+4.9%) and AIICO (+4.3%) pushed the Insurance index 0.3% higher. Likewise, the Industrial Goods index added 0.2% as WAPCO (+0.5%) closed in the green.

Investor Sentiment Turns Positive 
Market breadth (advance/decline ratio) which measures investor sentiment turned positive today, improving to 1.4x from 0.7x recorded yesterday as 24 stocks closed in the green while 17 stocks declined. JAPAULOIL (+5.4), WAPIC (+4.9%) and TOTAL (+4.8%) emerged top gainers of the day while UNIC (-6.7%) COURTVILLE (-5.6%) and AGLEVENTIS (-5.0%) were the worst performers.

We expect the market to sustain a positive close to the week as investors seek for bargain opportunities in the market ahead of full year earnings releases.