L–R: Mrs. Folashade Ambrose-Medebem, Communications & Public Affairs Director, Lafarge Africa Plc; Mr. Oscar Onyema, CEO, The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE); Mr. Mobolaji Balogun, Chairman, Lafarge Africa Plc; Mr. Khaled El-Dokani, Managing Director/CEO, Lafarge Africa Plc and Mrs. Elenda Giwa-Amu, Non-Executive Director, Lafarge Africa Plc; during a Closing Gong Ceremony to commemorate the appointment of the new CEO at the Exchange on Wednesday in Lagos

Bargain hunting on bellwether stocks, especially banking equities helped the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) record second consecutive trading session gains on Wednesday.

Bargain hunting on bellwether stocks like Access Bank, GTBank  and 20 others caused the All-Share Index (ASI) to inch up by 160.43 absolute points, representing a growth of 0.61 per cent to close at 26,415.54 points, the Market Capitalization was up by N83.60 billion, representing a growth of 0.61 per cent to close at N13.76 trillion.

Of the 22 gainers, NEM and ROYALEX appreciated 10 per cent to emerge top, while ARDOVA shed the same percentage to top nine other losers.

Meanwhile, the exchange year-to-date return moderated to -1.59 per cent.

The volume and value of equities investors traded declined by 21 per cent and 45 per cent to 307million units and ₦2.80billion respectively as FBNH emerged the most active stock in terms of volume with 50.25million units worth ₦279.75m and Zenith Bank with 49.36million units valued at ₦966.28million led in terms of value.

Gains by FBNH (+9.71%), ACCESS (+6.71%), and FIDELITY (+2.56%) buoyed the banking sector to appreciate the most with +2.13% and Consumer Goods(+0.8 9%), Agriculture (6bps) and Oil & Gas (+2bps) indices also trended northward.

On the flipside, Services and Industrial Goods indices declined by 0.18% and 0.01% respectively owing to sell offs i n NAHCO (-1.9 6%) and WAPCO (-0.36%). Elsewhere, the Healthcare and ICT indices closed flat.