The equities market ended a choppy session slightly higher as rebounds in large caps offset weakness in the banks. Index heavyweights – Dangcem(+1.15%) and NB(+2.37%) both gained on modest demand, a decline in offers forced buyers to pay up in both stocks. Consumer names consolidated on a strong week – Cadbury(+9.52%) hit a 21-month high on strong domestic buying; Flourmill(+1.76%), Dangsugar(+1.35%) and Nestle(+0.44%) also rose on domestic interest.
Today’s gains were however capped by losses in top tier I banks – Guaranty(-2.65%) surrendered a chunk of yesterday’s late gains; Stanbic(-1.72%) and Zenith(-0.32%) also reversed some of the previous sessions gain on weak demand. UBA(+0.78%) and Access(+0.39%) however showed resilience on impressive domestic demand.
Turnover closed at a year high of N19.7bn ($54m) buoyed mainly by a 1.1bln cross in Access($41m) involving domestic and foreign investors and a 23mln cross in Guaranty($3m) by foreign investors. Today’s +0.18% gain lifted ytd return to +12.88%, we expect the market to trade sideways next week on earnings.