The market appears to be shaking off the tensions that came on the heels of the forthcoming elections in the country.
Analysts had earlier attributed the sell-offs experienced in stocks last year to political uncertainties and predicted that the political tensions would further drain equities market performance.
In January, while analysts at Afrinvest West Africa predicted that the tensions would last till May after a peaceful transition had been achieved, analysts at Meristem Securities Limited said the apprehensions that investors had about the forthcoming elections were expected to fade this February.
The market, which plunged to its lowest level in more than one and a half years on January 9 as the market capitalisation fell below the N11tn mark from N11.72tn on December 31, 2018, gained 1.98 per cent on Thursday.
The year-to-date return settled in a neutral territory at zero per cent.
The All Share Index increased from 30,821.80 basis points on Wednesday to 31,433.49bps on Thursday.
Analysts at Afrinvest Securities Limited said the positive performance on the local bourse was sustained due to bargain hunting in bellwethers.
They said the ASI recorded an improvement on the back of gains in Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Zenith Bank Plc and Dangote Cement Plc.
Activity level also improved as volume and value traded both increased by 21.8 as a total of 436.7 million shares worth N5.88bn exchanged hands in 4,047 deals.
Banking stocks led both the top traded stocks by volume and value as United Bank for Africa Plc (136.8 million units), Zenith Bank (63.4 million units) and Access Bank Plc (44.4 million units) were the top traded stocks by volume, while Zenith Bank (N1.5bn), GTB (N1.2bn) and UBA (N987.1m) were the top traded stocks by value.
The banking index was the highest gainer, recording a 5.8 per cent increase on the back of gains in bellwethers.
The consumer goods and industrial goods indices increased by 3.4 per cent and 1.5 per cent as the stock prices of Nestlé Nigeria Plc, Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, Dangote Cement Plc and Lafarge Africa Plc recorded major appreciation.