The market capitalisation of equities listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, which stood at N11.320tn on Tuesday, increased to N11.372tn amid weak investor sentiments.
The All Share Index increased by 0.47 per cent to settle at 31,151.68 basis points, moderating the year-to-date loss to -18.5 per cent.
At the end of trading on the floor of the Exchange on Tuesday, 19 gainers emerged against 18 losers recorded, while investor sentiment weakened to 1.1x from 1.8x recorded on Tuesday.
Analysts at Afrinvest Securities Limited said bargain hunting in Dangote Cement Plc towards the final seconds of trading on Wednesday drove the market higher as the domestic equity market closed bullish.
They said price appreciation in Dangote Cement and Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc drove the All Share Index and market capitalisation higher, thereby improving investors’ wealth.
“Weak investors sentiment in Wednesday’s session shows that buying momentum is tapering; thus, we anticipate a negative performance in subsequent trading session,” they added.
Activity level, however, strengthened as volume and value traded increased by 0.1 per cent and 9.2 per cent, respectively, to close at 198.637 million units and N2.309bn, respectively.
The top traded stocks by volume were FBN Holdings Plc (90.4 million units), Access Bank Plc (17.9 million units) and Diamond Bank Plc (15.1 million units), while the top traded stocks by value were FBN Holdings (N689.8m), Stanbic IBTC Holdings (N334.1m), and Nestlé Nigeria Plc (N316.0m).
Performance across sectors was largely bearish as three of five sectors closed in the red.
Bargain hunting drove the Industrial Goods index higher by 0.85 per cent as price upticks in Dangote Cement pushed the index higher.
Dangote Cement had a N5 gain, the highest gain in value on the gainers table.
The Insurance index trailed as price appreciation in Wapic Insurance Plc and Linkage Assurance Plc propelled the index higher by 0.58 per cent.
On the flip side, the banking index lost the most, down by 1.02 per cent, while the oil & gas index followed, losing 0.61 per cent.
Similarly, the consumer goods index closed southwards for the third consecutive session as sell pressures in its stocks dragged the index 0.18 per cent lower.
The top five gainers were Veritas Kapital Assurance Plc, Diamond Bank Plc, Linkage Assurance, Wapic Insurance and Lasaco Assurance Plc, which saw their respective share prices gain 10 per cent, 8.97 per cent, 8.93 per cent, 8.11 per cent and 7.41 per cent.
The top five losers were Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc, Trans-Nationwide Express Plc, Prestige Assurance Plc, First Aluminium Nigeria Plc and Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc, whose share prices depreciated by 9.72 per cent, 9.23 per cent, 9.09 per cent, 9.09 per cent and 8.70 per cent, respectively.