Nigerian stocks were close to flat trading on Friday as the benchmark index climbed by just 0.02 per cent following a perennial investor’s apathy, which has haunted the market for months on end.

Trade volume depleted by as much as 31 per cent, taking a blow from profit-taking actions of investors cashing in on gains stocks had garnered over the days.

Flour Mills and GTCO were the main force that drove gains with support from the industrial index, which advanced the most of the five sector indexes tracked by the bourse.

“We advise investors to take positions in only fundamentally justified stocks as the unimpressive macro story remains a significant headwind for corporate earnings,” analysts at brokerage firm Cordros Capital said in an outlook for investment in the week ahead.

Market breadth, a barometer for measuring the sentiment of investors towards trade, was negative considering that 16 losers against 13 gainers.

The all-share index inched up by 8.82 points to close to 39,261.01, while market capitalisation closed at N20.5 trillion.

From the turn of the year to now, the index has been down 2.51 per cent.

TOP FIVE GAINERS

Neimeth appreciated by 7.57 per cent to N1.99. Transcorp went up by 5.62 per cent to N0.94. UPDC rose to N1.79, notching up 4.68 per cent in the process. Sovereign Trust added 4 per cent to end trade at N0.26. Flour Mills completed the top 5, climbing by 3.99 per cent to N30.

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TOP FIVE LOSERS

Mutual Benefits was the worst performing stock, declining by 9.68 per cent to close at N0.28. FTN Cocoa shed 8.16 per cent to close at N0.45. NPFMFB fell to N1.75, losing 7.89 per cent. Honeywell declined to N3.70, recording 5.13 per cent decline. Chams closed at N0.21, going down by 4.55 per cent.

TOP FIVE TRADES

Transcorp was the most active stock with 20.5 million shares worth N18.7 million traded in 112 deals. Access traded 18.5 million shares priced at N170.5 million in 286 transactions. Unity Bank had 15.3 million shares valued at N7.9 million traded in 55 deals. Mutual Benefits traded 11.8 million shares estimated at N3.4 million in 38 transactions. FBN Holdings traded 11.8 million shares valued at N88 million in 94 deals.

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