The Nigerian equity market rose for the first time since November 29, appreciating by 0.19 per cent on Wednesday, driven by renewed bargain hunting for high capitalised stocks.

The All-Share Index hitched up by 49.79 points, representing 0.19 per cent rise to close at 26,434.00 points, compared to 26,384.21 recorded the previous day.

The market capitalisation also gained N24 billion, representing 0.19 per cent appreciation to close at N12.758 trillion, against N12.734 trillion on Tuesday.

Consequently, the Month-to-Date and Year-to-Date losses moderated to -2.10 per cent and to -15.90 per cent respectively.

The upturn was impacted by gains recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, amongst which are; MTN Nigeria, CI Leasing, Flour Mills of Nigeria, United Bank for Africa and UACN.Market breadth closed negative with 12 gainers and 14 decliners.

C & Leasing led the gainers’ chart in percentage terms, with a gain of 9.26 per cent to close at N5.90 per share.

Courteville followed with a gain 8.70 per cent to close at 25k, while Oando grew by 4.17 per cent to close at N3.75 per share.

UBA went up by 3.85 per cent to close at N6.75, while UACN appreciated by 3.11 per cent to close at N8.30 per share.

Conversely, Chellarams led the losers’ chart by 9.74 per cent to close at N2.78 per share.

Union Diagnostic & Clinical Services followed with a decline of 8.33 per cent to close at 22k, while Chams went down by 8.11 per cent to close at 34k per share.

Linkage Assurance dipped 5.88 per cent to close at 48k, while Lasaco Assurance shed 3.85 per cent to close at 25k per share.

However, the total volume of shares traded closed lower as investors bought and sold 180.228 million shares worth N3.03 billion transacted in 2,951 deals.

This was in contrast with a turnover of 196.29 million shares valued at N3.55 billion achieved in 3,154 deals on Tuesday.

Transactions in the shares of UBA topped the activity chart with 29.33 million shares valued at N192.72 million.

Zenith Bank came second with 19.85 million shares worth N366.31 million, while Guinness Nigeria traded 15.64 million shares valued at N460.63 million.

Guaranty Trust Bank accounted for 13.32 million shares worth N373.01 million, while Access Bank transacted 12.98 million shares valued at N119.44 million.