Following renewed bargain hunting in 18 stocks, the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) reversed previous session losses to close upbeat, yesterday, as market capitalisation increased by N1 billion.

The all-share index (ASI) inched higher by 89.52 absolute points, representing an increase of 0.19 per cent to close at 46,777.37 points, while the overall market capitalisation value gained N1 billion to close at N25.219 trillion.

The market gain was driven by price appreciation in large and medium capitalised stocks amongst which are SEPLAT Energy, Zenith Bank, Guaranty Trust Holding Company, Access Holdings, UPDC Real Estate Investment Trust and Cutix.

Afrinvest Limited said: “In the next trading session, we expect bargain buying to support market performance.” Vetiva Dealing and Brokerage said: “Just as expected, we saw investors take advantage of the beaten-down prices especially in banking names like Zenith Bank and GTCO, as both stocks closed in the green today. We expect further cherry-picking of attractive counters across the board amid mixed market sentiments.”

As measured by market breadth, market sentiment was negative as 20 stocks declined relative to 18 gainers. Meyer Plc recorded the highest price gain of 9.86 per cent to close at 86 kobo. Regency Alliance Insurance followed with a gain of 7.14 per cent to close at 30 kobo, while FTN Cocoa processors gained 6.45 per cent to close at 33 kobo.

Cutix rose by 5.85 per cent to close at N2.17 kobo, while Caverton Offshore Support Group appreciated by 5.56 per cent to close at N1.33 kobo.

On the other hand, NPF Microfinance Bank led the losers’ chart by 9.64 per cent to close at N2.25 kobo. Learn Africa followed with a decline of 9.14 per cent to close at N1.69 kobo, while Multiverse Mining and Exploration declined by 8.7 per cent to close at 21 kobo.

R.T.Briscoe Nigeria shed 6.67 per cent to close at 56 kobo, while NASCON Allied Industries (NASCON) by 5.43 per cent to close at N12.20 kobo.

The total volume of trades increased by 17.3 per cent to 257.41 million units, valued at N2.343 billion, and exchanged in 4,410 deals.

Transactions in the shares of Fidelity Bank topped the activity chart with 67.4 million shares valued at N230.6 million. Transnational Corporation of Nigeria followed with 40.9 million shares worth N41.4 million.

Wapic Insurance traded 18.32 million shares valued at N7.4 million. GTCO traded 15.27 million shares valued at N341.2 million, while Access holdings transacted 14.5 million shares worth N141.3 million.