The local bourse halted its 8-day rally as the benchmark All Share Index (ASI) closed flattish with a bearish bias, down 1bp in Thursday’s session to settle at 38,800.01 points. The flattish performance reflects sell pressures in WAPCO (-4.8%) and GUARANTY (-0.6%) which erased price gains in FLOURMILL (+5.1%), OANDO (+8.7%) and FBNH (+1.4%).
Reflecting the bearish bias, YTD return fell to 44.6% while investors’ wealth declined as market capitalization printed lower to settle at N20.3tn. Activity level was dull reflective of the lower trading hours on Thursday as volume and value traded dipped 74.0% and 57.5% to 389.72m units and N8.0bn, respectively.
Across sectors, the performance was mildly bullish as three of the five major sectors under our coverage edged northwards. Leading the gainers, the Insurance index gained 2.1% following strong buying interest in MANSARD (+9.1%) and LASACO (+9.7%).
Similarly, the Oil & Gas and Consumer goods indices climbed 1.0% and 0.3% respectively following price upticks in OANDO (+8.7%) and FLOURMILL (+5.1%). On the other hand, the sell pressures in WAPCO (-4.8%) pulled the Industrial Goods index lower by 0.3%.
Lastly, the Banking index trailed, edging lower by 0.2% as southward movements in key tickers GUARANTY (-0.6%) and UBA (-0.6%) weighed on the index.
Investor sentiment weakened albeit remaining strong, falling to 2.9x from 3.7x in the previous session as 23 stocks gained against 8 decliners. Thursday’s trading session gives little away in judging investor’s sentiment and market direction.
However, we note that the market remains in the overbought region and could indicate an imminent reversal following large-cap stock-specific led rallies in recent trading days.