Nigerian stocks closed higher Thursday as the benchmark gauge rose 1.59 per cent, touching its highest level since February 29 and strengthening hopes that the market’s year-to-date return will soon swing back to positive.

Investors’ risk-on disposition to bellwethers like Dangote Cement, Nigerian Breweries and GTCO helped sustain the momentum of gain that started on Wednesday, with trade volume improving 120.7 per cent.

Market breadth, a pointer of investor sentiment towards trade, was negative as 20 advancers were recorded compared to 14 laggards.

The all-share index expanded by 628.88 points to 40,221.17, while market capitalisation leapt to N21 trillion.

Between January and now, the market has been down 0.12 per cent.

TOP FIVE GAINERS

UPL led gainers, appreciating by 9.82 per cent to close at N1.23. Pharma Deko added 9.81 per cent to end trade at N2.35. May & Baker went up 9.17 per cent to N4.88. Sovereign Trust rose to N0.24, notching up 9.09 per cent. Consolidated Hallmark completed the top 5, climbing by 7.55 per cent to N0.57.

TOP FIVE LOSERS

Chams declined by 8.70 per cent to close at N0.21. Mansard fell to N2.33, losing 4.12 per cent. Jaiz dipped to N0.60, recording 3.23 per cent depreciation. Livestock shed 2.69 per cent to close at N2.17. Japaul closed at N0.44, going down by 2.22 per cent.

READ ALSO: Nigerian stocks cut losses as bear run enters 10th day
TOP 5 TRADES

In all, 1 billion shares estimated at N7.4 billion were traded in 3,752 deals.

FBN Holdings was the most active stock with 53.8 million units of its shares worth N430.5 million traded in 300 deals. Transcorp transacted 23.3 million shares priced at N22.2 million in 87 trades. GTCO traded 19.4 million shares estimated at N544.3 million in 203 transactions. WAPIC traded 18.3 million shares valued at N8.8 million in 38 deals. Mutual Benefits had 15.3 million shares valued at N4.6 million traded in 20 deals.

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