The Nigerian equity market returned to the positive territory on Wednesday, appreciating 0.66%, on the back of gains by blue chips stocks.

The All-Share Index was up 150.38 points, representing a gain of 0.66 per cent to close at 22,780.30 compared with 22,629.92 recorded on Tuesday, while the market capitalisation gained N79 billion to close at N11.872 trillion.

The uptrend was impacted by gains recorded in large and medium capitalised stocks, amongst which are; Lafarge Africa, Zenith Bank, BUA Cement, Guaranty Trust Bank and PZ Cussons.

Analysts at Afrinvest Limited expected trading to remain mixed for the rest of the week.

Market breadth closed positive with 19 gainers in contrast with four laggards.

NEM Insurance recorded the highest price gain of 10 per cent, to close at N2.20 per share.

Lafarge Africa followed with a gain 9.66 per cent to close at N11.35, while Livestock rose by 7.69 per cent to close at 70k per share.

Transcorp rose by 7.35 per cent to close at 73k, while PZ Cussons appreciated by 6.25 per cent to close at N4.25 per share.

On the contrary, Skyway Aviation Handling Company led the losers’ chart in percentage terms, dropping by 8.16 per cent, to close at N1.80.

Union Diagnostic & Clinical Services followed with a decline of 6.45 per cent to close at 29k per share.

Guinness Nigeria lost 6.40 per cent to close at N19, while Caverton shed 4.26 per cent to close at N2.25, per share.

Despite the growth in market indices, the total volume of shares traded dipped 25.61 per cent with an exchange of 186.23 million shares worth N1.85 billion traded in 3,446 deals.

This was against a turnover of 186.23 million shares valued at N1.85 billion transacted in 3,446 deals on Tuesday.

Transactions in the shares of Zenith Bank topped the activity chart with 30.96 million shares worth N420.53 million.

FBN Holdings accounted for 30.72 million shares valued at N130.49 million, while Guaranty Trust Bank traded 25.77 million shares worth N486.79 million.

United Bank for Africa sold 19.99 million shares valued at N115.54 million, while Lafarge Africa transacted 17.11 million shares worth N192.51 million.