Bargain-hunting ahead of the 2021 full year earnings and dividend declarations yesterday spurred activities on the equities sector of the Nigerian Exchange Limited ( NGX), causing market capitalisation to appreciate by N22 billion.

In summary, the All-Share Index (ASI) grew by 41.40 absolute points, representing an increase of 0.10 per cent to close at 42,394.71 points while the overall market capitalisation value gained N22 billion to close at N22.129 trillion.

The upturn was impacted by gains recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, amongst which are; Dangote Cement, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria, Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN), Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCO) and NEIMETH International Pharmaceuticals.

Analysts at Afrinvest Limited said: “We expect the improved investor sentiment to sustain bullish performance in the next trading session.”

Market sentiment, as measured by market breadth, was positive as 21 stocks gained while 11 others recorded price depreciation.

NEIMETH International Pharmaceuticals recorded the highest price gain of 9.82 per cent to close at N1.79 kobo. UPDC followed with a gain of 9.43 per cent to close at N1.16 while Royal Exchange rose by 8.70 per cent to close at 75 kobo.

Mutual Benefits Assurance rose by 7.69 per cent to close at 28 kobo while Regency Alliance Insurance appreciated by 7.32 per cent to close at 44 kobo, per share.

On the other hand, C & I Leasing led the losers’ chart by 8.70 per cent to close at N4.20 kobo. Consolidated Hallmark Insurance followed with a decline of 6.90 per cent to close at 54 kobo while Wapic Insurance declined by 5.88 per cent to close at 48 kobo.

Lasaco Assurance shed 5.45 per cent to close at N1.04, while Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) depreciated by 3.48 per cent to close at N3.33 kobo.

However, the total volume of shares traded fell by 58.4 per cent to 142.172 million units, valued at N2.486 billion, and exchanged in 3,749 deals.

Transactions in the shares of FBN Holdings (FBNH) topped the activity chart with 20.190 million shares valued at N244.717 million. GTCO followed with 10.575 million shares worth N270.907 million. Sovereign Trust Insurance traded 10.106 million shares valued at N2.424 million.

Mutual Benefits Assurance traded 9.364 million shares valued at N2.595 million, while AIICO Insurance transacted 8.840 million shares worth N6.002 million.