Equities Market Ends Half Year with Marginal Growth

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The stock market last week ended the first half (H1) with a marginal gain of 0.09 per cent.

Expectations for impressive 2017 corporate earnings had helped to sustain a bull market in early part of 2018. This followed a recording a remarkable appreciation at the beginning of the year that pushed year-to-date growth to 17.9 per cent on January 19, 2018.

Although the market closed the first quarter (Q1) positively with a growth 8.5 per cent, the bears maintained their grip on the market in the second quarter(Q2). Consequently, the market ended the H1 with a marginal growth of 0.09 per cent, helped by a rally last Friday.

Commenting on the market performance, Meristem Securities Limited said positive sentiments drove the market performance for H1 2018 on the last trading day.

“Bargain hunting activities were encouraged by the attractive entry prices on top counters in the space and by interim dividend expectation. Consequently, the market reverted from a negative year-to-date(YtD) return on the 28th of June 2018, to record positive returns on the last trading day in the half,” it said.

In their comments, analysts at Cordros Capital Limited suggested trading in equities in the short-to-medium term.

“In the absence of near-term one-off positive catalysts (save for likely better-than-expected Q2 earnings results), we posit a cautious approach towards risky assets in the short-to-medium term, despite supportive macroeconomic fundamentals. That said, we continue to see value in taking long term position in fundamentally sound stocks, particularly those with consistent dividend paying history,” they said.

Daily Performance

The market gained 0.34 per cent on the first day of the week as buying interest in Dangote Cement Plc attracted the bulls. The growth led to a N46.9 billion in market capitalisation to close at N13.8 trillion. Also, activity level strengthened as volume and value traded advanced 24.0 per cent and 139.7 per cent to 207.4 million shares and N3.4 billion respectively. Top traded stocks by volume were United Bank for Africa Plc (43.7 million shares), Honeywell Flour Mills Plc (16.9 million shares) and Zenith Bank Plc (16.1 million shares) while Dangote Cement Plc (N1.2 billion), UBA (N459.2 million) and Zenith Bank (N418.7 million) were top traded by value.

The market returned to the bears’ territory on Tuesday following losses in bellwethers. Depreciation in the shares of International Breweries Plc and Zenith Bank Plc among others led to a marginal decline of 0.01 per cent in the index to close at 37,988.54. But activity level was mixed as volume traded rose 24.7 per cent to 258.7 million shares while value traded declined 7.5 per cent to N3.2 billion.

However, trading remained bearish on Wednesday as profit-taking in banking stocks made the market to close 0.06 per cent lower at 37,963.93. Similarly, market capitalisation shed N9.7 billion to close at N13.75 trillion. Profit taking on counters in the banking sector such as Zenith Bank Plc, GTBank, Access Bank Plc, Diamond Bank Plc and Fidelity Bank Plc led to the negative performance of the market. A total of 35 stocks depreciated while only 12 appreciated.

However, Japaul Oil & Maritime Plc led the price losers with 7.3 per cent, trailed by Eterna Plc with a decline of 5.0 per cent. First Aluminium Plc and Prestige Assurance Plc went down by 5.0 per cent apiece.

Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc, May & Baker Nigeria Plc shed 4.8 per cent and 4.4 per cent, while Equity Assurance Plc depreciated by 4.3 per cent. Regency Alliance Insurance Plc closed 4.0 per cent lower.

On the positive side, C & I Leasing Plc led the price gainers with 4.6 per cent, trailed by Unity Bank Plc with 4.4 per cent. Transcorp Plc and Union Bank of Nigeria Plc chalked up 4.2 per cent.

African Prudential Plc added 3.9 per cent, just as Total Nigeria Plc and Champion Breweries Plc went up by 3.7 per cent and 3.1 per cent in that order.

Meanwhile, the activity level improved as volume and value traded increased 43.9 per cent and 0.4 per cent to 372.2 million shares and N3.2 billion respectively. The most traded stocks by volume were Sterling Bank Plc (172.6 million shares), Zenith Bank Plc (31.5 million shares ) and Transcorp Plc (22.9 million shares) while Zenith Bank (N792.7 million), Presco Plc (N404.4 million) and Guinness Nigeria Plc (N277.9 million) were the top traded stocks by value.

In sectoral terms, three of five indices trended southwards. The NSE Insurance Index led the decliners with 0.8 per cent, trailed by the NSE Banking Index with 0.6 per cent. The NSE Consumer Goods Index closed in the red, shedding 0.2 per cent. On other hand, the NSE Industrial Goods Index and NSE Oil & Gas Index appreciated 0.9 per cent and 0.3 per cent respectively following gains in Lafarge Africa (+2.4 per cent) and Total Nigeria (+3.7 per cent)

But, the negative mood continued on Thursday with the index shedding 0.61 per cent to close at 37,733.44. Similarly, market capitalisation shed N88.5 billion to close lower at 13.7 trillion. That decline brought the year-to-date decline to 1.3 per cent on that day.

According to analysts at Meristem Securities Limited, “the mood in the market was largely downbeat, despite the modest gains recorded on counters in the consumer goods sector. Profit taking on Dangote Cement Plc and bellwether stocks in the banking sector dragged the day’s results.”

In all, 21 stocks depreciated while 17 appreciated. Equity Assurance Plc recorded the highest loss, shedding 4.5 per cent. Wema Bank Plc trailed with 4.1 per cent. Diamond Bank Plc, Prestige Assurance Plc and Transcorp Plc went down by 3.5 per cent apiece.

Other top price losers include: University Press Plc(3.0 per cent); Royal Exchange Plc (2.9 per cent); LASACO Assurance Plc, Okomu Oil Palm Plc (2.7 per cent each). Japaul Oil & Maritime Services Plc (2.6 per cent) and Dangote Flour Mills Plc (2.4 per cent); Dangote Cement Plc (2.1 per cent).

However, the 17 stocks that escaped from the bears were led by Honeywell Flours Mills Plc with 9.5 per cent, trailed by Law Union & Rock Insurance Plc with 9.3 per cent. Lafarge Africa Plc and AIICO Insurance Plc chalked up 5.0 per cent apiece.

Other top gainers were: Regency Alliance Assurance Plc (4.1 per cent); Niger Insurance Plc, Cadbury Nigeria Plc (4.0 per cent each); Linkage Assurance Plc(3.9 per cent) and Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc (3.7 per cent).

But in terms of sectoral performance, three indicators closed higher, one depreciated, while one closed flat. The NSE Industrial Goods Index led with 1.4 per cent, followed by the NSE Consumer Goods Index that appreciated by 0.5 per cent, while the NSE Insurance Index appreciated by 0.2 per cent.

Conversely, the NSE Banking Index was the sole loser, shedding 0.7 per cent on the back of sell-offs in GTBank, Zenith Bank and Diamond Bank Plc. The NSE Oil & Gas Index closed flat.

Meanwhile, activity level improved as volume and value traded rose 11.5 per cent and 40.0 per cent to 414.9 million shares and N4.5 billion respectively.

The market rebounded on Friday but the gain was not enough to offset losses recorded the past three days.

Market Turnover

Meanwhile, investors traded 2.004 billion shares worth N21.582 billion in 18,534 last week, up from 1.097 billion shares valued at N15.471 billion that exchanged hands in 16,288 deals the previous week.

But the Financial Services Industry remained the most traded sector, recording 1.509 billion shares valued at N13.540 billion traded in 10,164 deals. The Consumer Goods Industry followed with 237.759 million shares worth N3.441 billion in 3,243 deals, while the third place was occupied by the Conglomerates Industry with a turnover of 88.374 million shares worth N272.722 million in 777 deals.

Trading in the top three equities, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, Sterling Bank Plc and Wema Bank Plc accounted for 700.918 million shares worth N2.016 billion in 501 deals, contributing 34.98 per cent and 9.34 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.

Price Gainers and Losers

The price movement chart showed 32 equities that appreciated in price during the week, higher 25 in the previous week, while 39 equities depreciated in price, lower than 44 equities of the previous week.

Unity Bank Plc led the price gainers with 10.2 per cent, trailed by Honeywell Flours Mills Plc with 9.5 per cent. Law Union & Rock Insurance Plc chalked up 9.3 per cent, while Total Nigeria Plc garnered 8.6 per cent.

Other top price gainers included: Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc (6.6 per cent); Vitafoam Nigeria Plc (5.8 per cent); LASACO Assurance Plc, Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc (5.8 per cent); Nestle Nigeria Plc (5.3 per cent);N.E.M Insurance Plc (5.2 per cent).

Conversely, Japaul Oil & Maritime Services Plc led the price losers with 23.4 per cent, trailed by Prestige Assurance Plc with 16.6 per cent. Equity Assurance Plc and Linkage Assurance Plc shed 8.7 per cent and 8.0 per cent respectively.

Diamond Bank Plc went down by 6.5 per cent, just as Veritas Kapital Assurance Plc and Royal Exchange Plc 6.4 per cent and 5.7 per cent in that order.

Other top losers for the week were: Seplat (5.1 per cent); First Aluminium Plc (5.0 per cent) and UACN Property Development Company Plc (4.9 per cent).

About the Author

Samed Olukoya
CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade long experience in the global financial market. Contact Samed on Twitter: @sameolukoya; Email: [email protected]

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