Investors in the nation’s stock market gained N7.9bn on Thursday as the market reversed losses.
The market capitalisation of equities listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange increased from N11.236tn on Wednesday to N11.244tn on Thursday.
The All Share Index shed 0.1 per cent to settle at 29,919.77 basis points while the year-to-date loss moderated to -4.8 per cent.
Activity level strengthened as volume and value traded advanced by 14.4 per cent and 12.4 per cent to 348.7 million units and N3bn, respectively.
The top-traded stocks by volume were Japaul Oil and Maritime Services Plc (94.4 million units), Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (31 million units) and Unilever Nigeria Plc (30 million units), while Unilever (N929.5m), Zenith Bank Plc (N420.4m) and Guinness Nigeria Plc (N294.3m) were the top traded stocks by value.
Performance across sectors was mixed albeit more bullish as three of five indices closed on a positive note.
The oil and gas index led advancers, up by 2.8 per cent following buying interests in Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc and Forte Oil Plc.
The banking index gained 0.1 per cent on the back of price appreciation in Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc.
Similarly, the consumer goods index marginally inched higher by four basis points due to gains in Nigerian Breweries Plc and Dangote Flour Mills Plc.
On the flip side, the insurance index shed 0.3 per cent on the back of sell-offs in AIICO Insurance Plc and Wapic Insurance Plc.
Major losses in Dangote Cement Plc and Berger Paints Plc led to a 0.2 per cent decline in the industrial goods index.
Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio), weakened to 1.1x from 1.9x recorded on Wednesday as 19 stocks advanced against 17 decliners.
The top-performing stocks were Cutix Plc, Forte Oil Plc and Dangote Flour Mills.
Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, Guinness Nigeria Plc and UACN Property Development Company Plc were the top losers for the day.
Analysts at Afrinvest Securities Limited said, “Following Thursday’s positive performance, we do not rule out the possibility of profit-taking in Friday’s trading session amid corporate earnings releases.”