The equities market closed in the red today as investors trimmed holdings in financials amid fears of higher than anticipated full year provisions and increased block offers in banks. Tier I majors – UBA(-4.65%), Access(-1.15%) and Guaranty(-0.31%) all dropped on risk aversion. Positive reaction trailed the release of Zenith bank’s numbers as strong non-interest income growth countered provision jump.
Pan African banks – ETI(+1.01%) and Stanbic(+0.31%) advanced on thin liquidity. Investors’ sentiment were mixed in consumer stocks – Unilever(-2.25%) pulled back from a 4-year high on profit taking; Cadbury(-4.35%) and Flourmill(-0.93%) fell on risk aversion. On the flip side, bargain hunting lifted NB(+0.39%) higher, UACN(+2.57$) rose on earnings optimism
Turnover stayed impressive at N10.5bn ($28.9m) buoyed mainly by block trades of 400m FBNH shares($13m) and increased activities in Zenith($6.7m). Today’s -0.26% loss trimmed ytd return to +12.59%, we expect the market to trade sideways on mixed earnings in coming sessions.