By Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma
Lagos – The Nigerian equities market maintined upward trend on Wednesday with the market capitalisation growing further by N77 billion following renewed interest in high capitalised stocks.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the market capitalisation which opened at N10.905 trillion rose by N77 billion or 0.71 per cent to close at N10.982 trillion.
Similarly, the All-Share Index increased by 148.07 points, representing a growth of 0.71 per cent to close at 21,073.26, against 20,925.19 on Tuesday.
The uptrend was impacted by gains recorded in large and medium capitalised stocks, amongst which are; Lafarge Africa, Dangote Sugar Refinery, Stanbic IBTC Holdings, Flour Mills and Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI).
Analysts at Afrinvest Limited said, “We do not expect to see a sustained bullish run, although investors have continued to seek bargain hunting opportunities.”
Market breadth closed positive with 25 gainers in contrast with eight losers.
ETI and Ikeja Hotel led the gainers’ chart in percentage terms with 10 per cent each, to close at N4.40 and 99k per share, respectively.
Wema Bank followed with a gain of 9.80 per cent to close at 56k per share.
Lafarge Africa rose by 9.77 per cent to close at N11.80, while Dangote Sugar Refinery appreciated by 9.55 per cent to close at N9.75 per share.
On the other hand, Union Diagnostics and Skyway Aviation Handling Company led the losers’ chart in percentage terms by 10 per cent each, to close at 27k and N2.16 per share, respectively.
Ardova followed with a decline of 9.64 per cent to close at N11.25 per share.
GlaxoSmithKline lost 9.38 per cent to close at N4.35, while Courteville Business Solutions shed 9.09 per cent to close at 20k per share.
In spite of the rise in market indices, the total volume of shares traded declined by 76.02 per cent, with an exchange of 346.41 million shares worth N5.22 billion traded in 4,660 deals.
This was in contrast with 1.44 billion shares valued at N5.57 billion exchanged in 4,647 deals on Tuesday.
Transactions in the shares of Guaranty Trust Bank topped the activity chart with 102.24 million shares valued at N1.4 billion.
FBN Holdings followed with 64.707 million shares worth N289.32 million, while Zenith Bank traded 30.294 million shares valued at N395.41 million.
Lafarge Africa sold 27.92 million shares worth N329.43 million, while Fidelity Bank transacted 24.93 million shares valued at N51.07 million.