The equities market struggled to close up today as a rebound in index heavyweight Dangcem helped offset weakness in banking stocks. Dangcem advanced +3.46% on fresh domestic buying. Negative reaction belatedly trailed last week’s CBN directive on dividend payment; tier II banks were the worst hit as domestic investors dumped Diamond(-8.52%), FCMB(-4.74%) and Fidelity(-3.05%). Tier I banks such as Zenith(-0.80%), Guaranty(-0.53%) and Access(-1.19%) dropped on weak demand. Sentiment were mixed in consumer names – Intbrew(-5%) and NB(-0.70%) slipped on risk aversion while PZ(+5%), Cadbury(+4.97%) and Nestle(+2.85%) jumped on thin liquidity.
Turnover improved to N4.6bn ($12.7m) buoyed by huge activities in FBNH($3.4m) and block trades of 182k Nestle($1.9m). Today’s +0.38% gain helped lift ytd return to +10.21%, we expect the market to tick higher tomorrow on sustained gains in large caps.