Nigerian stocks scraped a paltry 0.04 per cent gain Wednesday to post their first appreciation this week.

The climb rode on the back of appreciation in the shares of MTN and energy heavyweight Total. The size dwindled a little from the figure reported the session before, raising concerns about the liquidity crisis that has beset the market since last year.

More companies informed the Nigerian Exchange of their close period, which ending at the end of July will open a floodgate of earnings reports, a major determiner of the direction stocks may head in the short term. Insiders are forbidden from trading during the one-month close period ahead of release of companies’ quarterly results to prevent taking advantage of knowledge of financials.

A positive market breadth was reported, showing 18 gainers against 12 losers at the end of trade.

The all-share index increased 15.31 points to 37,872.55 points, while market capitalisation closed higher at N19.232 trillion.

The index has seen a 5.96 per cent gain January to date.

TOP FIVE GAINERS

Capital Hotel traded up by 10 per cent to close at N2.64. NCR went up 9.89 per cent to N3. Unity Bank rose to N0.63, notching up 6.78 per cent in the process.

Total added 6.06 per cent to end today’s trade at N168. FTN Cocoa completed the top 5, climbing by 5.13 per cent to N0.41.

TOP FIVE LOSERS

NAHCO was the worst performing stock, declining by 5.42 per cent to close at N2.27. Linkage Assurance shed 5.41 per cent to close at N0.70.

Cornerstone fell to N0.53, losing 5.36 per cent. Oando slumped to N3.01, recording 4.14 per cent depreciation. Consolidated Hallmark closed at N0.68, going down by 2.86 per cent.

TOP FIVE TRADES

In all, 197.232 shares estimated at N2.140 billion were traded today in 3,610 deals.

UBA traded the most shares with 35.922 million units of its common stock worth N269.553 million traded in 172 transactions.

Access Bank transacted 28.646 million shares priced at N259.577 million exchanged hands in 241 transactions.

Zenith had 17.648 million shares valued at N424.694 million traded in 378 deals. UPDC traded 13.768 million shares estimated at N20.035 million in 142 transactions. GTCO traded 10.374 million shares valued at N304.516 million in 283 deals.

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