Market Update for the Week Ended February 17 and Outlook for Feb 20-24
It was another week of sideways movement and mixed sentiment on the Nigerian Exchange, as investors continued positioning in fundamentally sound stocks ahead of the 2022 audited corporate earnings and dividend announcements. These happened amidst the macroeconomic headwinds, political tension arising from the 2023 general elections beginning on Saturday with the Presidential and National Assembly polls.
The week also witnessed profit taking in the shares of telecommunication giant- Airtel Africa on the last trading day of the week, which weighed on the benchmark index, short-living five consecutive weeks of bull-run on a low traded volume and positive market breadth.
The selling sentiment and cautious trading in the face of the disconnection in the Monetary Policy Rate of 17.5% and fixed income market yields, even as the latest inflation data showed a resurgence to 17-year high of 21.82% in January, compared to 21.34% recorded in December 2022. There was a continued decline in NTB auction rates and yields for the fifth successive primary market offers.
The equity market maintained its uptrend, despite pulling back on the profit booking in Airtel, while all eyes are on early filers to start releasing their scorecards and corporate actions any moment next week. This is likely to give the market direction after breaking down the T line on a daily chart to trade above 8 and 50 days moving average exponential.
The NGX Index’s action retraced back after breaking out a strong resistance level of 54,290.84 points and 54,441.81 basis points to trade below 54,000 psychological line on a mixed technical due to profit taking and price correction in some blue chip stocks to range and form a toping chart pattern that support reversal and continuation of trend depending market forces in the new week, as more audited earnings are expected to hit the market in coming days and weeks.
The market pulled back from its 16-year high on selloffs in the midst of the outstanding performance by listed companies, a situation expected to influence equity prices and support final dividend payment in the face of mixed macrocosmic condition, changing yields environment and the prevailing political uncertainty around the general election which begins in a matter of days. We note also that a material change in rates and price behaviour may support a further uptrend, even as technical tools are revealing the last minute price markup by smart money or institution investors. So, let waits for confirmation as Monday trading opens.
The bullish sentiment across the major sectors and other indexes of the market supported the mixed trend as all eyes are on corporate earnings and actions, knowing that the medium and long-term trends are still intact, but this week trading will give a clear direction as more companies release their scorecards and react positively as these numbers offer insights into what investors should expect as dividend from the companies. This may signal the continuation of this recovery in the month of February, notwithstanding uncertainties associated with the elections, and the possibility of a post-election rally, if every things goes well.
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Oil price during the week continued its oscillation, to pullback at $83 per barrel as Azerbaijan restarts oil export on increasing demand by Europe. Just as recovery in China economy and weak dollar could help avert recession in the midst rate hike slowing down in US and others climates due to inflation easing across the globe. We note also the geopolitical tensions and supply tightening due to the Russia-Ukraine war which has lingered for almost a year, having broken out on February 24, 2022. The up and down movement of oil price also continues to drive volatility across the globe.
Movement Of NGXASI
The NGX had mixed sentiments of position and profit taking during the week to record four trading sessions of marginal up market and one day down market following selloffs in highly priced stock. The pullback of the index below its 54,000 level on a selling pressure ahead of corporate action makes the market attractive for dividend income investors.
Trading for the period under review started on a positive note, reversing the loss recorded I the previous session as the index chalked 0.07%, a trend that was sustained till Thursday when it gained 0.12%, 0.02% and 0.03% on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday respectively, before pulling back on Friday by 1.13%. These brought the week’s total loss to 0.96%, compared to the previous week’s 0.16% positive close.
Consequent, the benchmark NGX All-Share Index lost 522.84 basis points, closing at 53,804.46bps, compared to the week’s 54,327.30 points opening level, after touching an intra-week low of 53,804.46bps, from its highs of 54,553.73points. Similarly, market capitalisation fell by N281bn, also representing a 0.95% depreciation in value at N29.30tr, from the previous week’s N29.59tr,
Low, medium and high cap stocks topped the advancers table for the week, amid selling sentiments and position taking in dividend paying companies as volatility and portfolio repositioning continued. Also notable is the fact that market players were accumulating positions after seeing the unaudited results from different sectors ahead of their corporate actions. So buying into value, strong earnings and high dividend yield companies continued, as market recovery persist heading for 54,000 and 54,290.81 levels.
Market metrics revealed a positive breadth as advancers outnumbered decliners in the ratio of 36:27 on a selling pressure as indicated by investdata sentiment report showing 0% ‘buy’ volume and 100% sell position. Money Flow Index looking up to 90.12bps, from the previous week’s 89.98points, an indication that funds entered the market on a weekly chart to reflect buying interest in some stocks, despite profit taking Airtel that pullback the market as yields in fixed income continued to decline.
The NGX index’s action maintained its bullish rally, despite pulling back on profit taking ahead of a major resistance level of 54,000points, following which a breakout will usher in its 15-year high, as market players look forward to a financial market, economic and political reset that will drive higher returns in 2023 and beyond. Just as the ‘V’ shape chart pattern on a weekly and daily time frame, indicates continuation of trend, profit taking and extreme volatility.
Profit taking continued to dominate, as the index traded above the T-line and other moving averages like 100, and 200, even forming a topping chart at different levels of its recovery move from 43,418.26 that signaled reversal or continuation of trend, depending on market forces, as all eyes are on 2022 financials that will give direction as trading opens. We note that the volume that supported this recovery and rally remain mixed and above the market’s traded average, just as corporate actions and others could support the uptrend further into early February.
Bullish Sectoral Indices
Sectorial performance indexes for the week closed higher, except for the NGX Banking that shed 1.34%, while the NGX Insurance led the advancers’ after gaining 1.18%, followed by Energy, Consumer and Industrial Goods with 0.91%, 0.67% and 0.06%respectively.
Activities in volume and value were down, after investors exchanged 751.99m shares worth N20.58bn, compared to the previous week’s 944.29m units valued at N22.71bn. Volume was driven by Financial Services, Consumer and Industrial goods. Specifically, led by trades in GTCO, UBA, FBH Holdings Transcorp and Dangote Cement.
Tripple Gee and LivingTrust Mortgage Bank were the best-performing stocks for the week, gaining 45.26% and 16.16% respectively, closing at N1.99 and N2.30per share on market forces and impressive Q3 earnings report. On the flip side, CWG and Fidelity Bank had 17.35%and 14.70% respectively, at N0.81 and N4.76 per share, purely on profit taking.
Outlook for the week
We expect a mixed trends and sentiments to continue as investors digest the CPI data and declining rates and yields in fixed income as companies’ earnings reports are expected to start rolling in this week. The market index is already eyeing the 55,000 psychological level in weeks to come. However, retracement to the 52,578.12 level and below is possible on profit taking as global and domestic events unfold.
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