Sep 1 (Lagos) - The domestic bourse extended its downward trend as the All-Share Index shed 27bps to settle at 39,219.61 points. The red close was largely driven by losses in NB (-993bps), LIVETSOCK (-983bps), WEMABANK (-444bps), CHAMPION (-148bps), and ZENITHBANK (-103bps) among others, outweighing gains in the likes of HONYFLOUR (+974bps), ETERNA (+345bps), ACCESS (+111bps), and UBA (+66bps).

Sectoral indices weren’t exempted from this negative close, as all sectors closed the day in the red zone, with the exception of the flat finish in the Industrial goods space. Despite the bearish close, market activity improved, as volume and value traded increased by 41.41% and 28.13% to 425.6m units and N 1.97 billion respectively. Lastly, market breadth turned negative, with a figure of 0.54x after 28 stocks declined and 15 advanced.

On the International market, Chinese and Indian economies posted good GDP growth. India recorded 20% growth in GDP in the most recent quarter and its currency strengthened on record foreign reserve and all time high stock market numbers as the Narendra Modi led government delivers on massive infrastructure projects across the Country. China's economy could go back to pre-pandemic levels in the fourth quarter of this year. The electric-vehicle revolution continues to power China towards a low pollution future, something the rest of the world can also use. 

Following stocks attracted investors attention on the last day of August. 

On the bid Cart: Investors’ continued demand in HONYFLOUR saw the stock gain 9.74% to close at  N 4.28, consistently setting new year-high price each session. The Consumer Goods company has returned 256.67% YTD but it still nowhere close to where it used to trade years ago. There are rumors of a takeover in certain parts. 

On the Offer Cart: NB was the biggest loser today after shedding 9.93% to close at N 49.45. The Brewing counter is currently down 11.70% YTD. Another brewer GUINNESS reported its annual result last week and although the Company returned to profitability, investors were not impressed. 

So what will shape the market tomorrow?

With investors showing interest in a number of large cap names like Zenith Bank, GTCO and MTNN though at lower price point, analysts at Vetiva Capital Management Ltd in Victoria Island, expect market activity to remain around this level. However, they anticipate this tepid sentiment to persist as there are no major catalyst to spur activity level.

Analyst at Easykobo agrees with them but points to the ongoing rally in the food basket stocks. We may see more demand for these shares and remember to keep an eye on the volumes for these stocks and right now its about following the smart money. Bank stocks are not offering anything unique until they start thinking about the next round of consolidation. The value may be hidden in ignored parts of the market just like these food basket stocks which have been ignored for most of the last decade. 

September is historically a down month for stocks in the Western world but those statistics don't count for much in a pandemic. 

reporting for on Wednesday, September 1 2021 from Lagos, Nigeria
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