By Modupe Gbadeyanka
For the first time since last Friday, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) finish on a positive note, closing higher by 1.04 percent to nudge the year-to-date gain to 31.01 percent.
The market had had to endure three bearish trading sessions mainly influenced by profit taking by investors.
However, gains recorded today by Total Plc, Dangote Cement and 17 other stocks released fresh air into the market.
Total added N7.90k to its share value to settle at N231 per share, while Dangote Cement increased by N7.59k to close at N213.39k per share.
Similarly, 7up rose by N4.18k to finish at N90 per share, Forte Oil expanded by N2 to end at N49.90k per share, and Lafarge grew by 56k to wrap the day at N49.10k per share.
Business Post reports that the market still recorded low trade today with the volume and value of shares transacted by investors finishing lower than what was achieved yesterday.
This is because investors are treading gently as they await release of earnings of listed firms on the NSE for the third quarter of this year, which would start coming in from next month.
Specifically, investors staked N1.1 billion on 137.4 million shares today traded in 2,977 deals, in contrast to N2.8 billion spent on 174.7 million shares on Tuesday in 3,783 deals.
Also, the market breadth still remained negative like the previous days as the stock market closed with 19 advancers and 20 decliners.
However, the All-Share Index (ASI) rose today by 361.07 points to settle at 35,207.89 points, while the market capitalisation increased by N124.5 billion to close at N12.1 trillion.
The top five losers at the close of transactions on the floor of the NSE on Wednesday were Nestle, NASCON, Stanbic IBTC, Union Bank and UBA.
A breakdown showed that Nestle lost N3.89k to close at N1225.1k per share, while NASCON fell by 65k to finish at N12.35k per share.
Stanbic IBTC declined by 50k to end at N39.50k per share, Union Bank depreciated by 28k to trim to N5.72k per share, and UBA slumped by 25k to settle at N8.50k per share.
The most active stock today at the market was Meyer, which exchanged 20 million shares at N14 million.
It was followed by Access Bank, which traded 15 million shares worth N144.4 million, and Transcorp, which traded 12 million shares valued at N14.2 million.
Furthermore, FCMB moved 11.8 million shares for N12 million, while Fidelity Bank sold 7 million shares at N9.4 million.
However, if last week’s trend is to be followed, the market may sustain today’s gain tomorrow and then slip again on Friday.