The Nigerian equities market appreciated marginally by 0.16 per cent at the close of trading on Thursday after 20 stocks closed positive.
A total of 168.512 million shares valued at N3.627bn were traded in 3,536 deals.
The Nigerian Stock Exchange market capitalisation rose to N11.151tn from N11.133tn, as the All-Share Index closed at 32,354.78 basis points from 32,302.32 basis points.
The market settled its year-to-date returns at 20.39 per cent, and recorded a total of 23 losers.
Oando Plc was the top gainer for the day, appreciating by 4.97 per cent to close at N7.39.
Axa Mansard Insurance Plc, 7UP Bottling Company Plc, Cutix Plc and FCMB Group Plc also appreciated by 4.91 per cent, 4.85 per cent, 4.76 per cent and 4.35 per cent in their respective share prices.
However, May & Baker Nigeria Plc recorded the highest share price decline, shedding 9.40 per cent, to close at N3.18. UACN Plc, Fidson Healthcare Plc, Flour Mills Nigeria Plc and Red Star Express Plc’s share prices also declined by 4.95 per cent, 4.93 per cent, 4.93 per cent and 4.89 per cent, respectively.
All NSE indices save for NSE food/beverages index which dropped by 1.13 per cent, closed in the green zone at the end of trading.
The NSE oil/gas index recorded the highest advancement of 1.15 per cent while the NSE insurance, NSE banking, NSE industry indices gained by 0.90 per cent, 0.53 per cent and 0.49 per cent, respectively.
Commenting on the performance of the market, equities analysts at Meristem Securities said, “We opine that the slight gain by Dangote Cement Plc (0.96 per cent) at the end of the trading day pushed the market into the green zone as ex-Dangote Cement, the Nigerian bourse would have closed with a loss of 0.19 per cent.
“In anticipation of the earnings season, we do not rule out the possibility that position-taking by investors may drive buy pressures on Friday. However, we still expect a negative week-on-week return.