The equities market performed positively at the close of trade Wednesday due to sustained bargain hunting in bellwethers such as Nestle (+2.8%), Guaranty Trust Bank (+1.8%) and Zenith Bank (+0.2%).
As a result, the All Share Index (ASI) advanced 0.16 percent to 30,821.80, market capitalization increased by N18.0 billion to N11.5 trillion while year-to-date loss marginally improved to -1.9 percent.
Activity level also improved as volume and value traded rose 88.3% and 65.0% to 358.3m units and N4.8bn respectively.
The top traded stocks by volume were FBN Holdings (88.6m), Zenith Bank (55.7m) and Japaul Oil (36.2m) while Zenith Bank (N1.3bn), Guaranty Trust Bank (N724.5m) and FBN Holdings (N660.0m) were the top traded by value.
The consumer goods index led sector gainers, up 1.2% following bargain hunting in Nestle (+2.8%) and Dangote Flour (+5.0%). The banking index trailed, rising 0.6 percent due to price appreciation in Guaranty Trust Bank (+1.8%) and Zenith Bank (+0.2%).
Similarly, the insurance index maintained an uptrend, inching 0.5 percent higher, on the back of gains in AIICO Insurance (+6.1%) and Cornerstone Insurance (+5.0%).
On the flipside, the industrial goods and oil & gas indices shed 0.6 percent and 0.1 percent respectively following sell pressures in Dangote Cement (-0.8%) and Oando (-1.0%).
Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) weakened to 1.1x from 1.8x recorded Tuesday as 19 stocks appreciated against 17 laggards.
Learn Africa (+9.5%), Regal Insurance (+9.1%) and MCNICHOLS (+7.7%) were the best performing stocks while Custodian Allied (-8.8%), Guinea Insurance (-8.7%) and Livestock Feeds (-5.7%) led laggards.
Following the positive performance of the market since the start of the week, analysts anticipate profit taking in counters that have enjoyed buying interest till the close of the week.