By G9ija

Transaction volume on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) declined by 59.2 per cent even as indices remained unchanged at the close of trading yesterday.

The stock market had recorded its first gain (+0.02 per cent) of the week on Tuesday on the back of gains in Nigerian Breweries, International Breweries and Stanbic. However, Wednesday’s session saw the All Share Index (ASI) close at 28,344.34 points while market capitalisation and year-to-date (YTD) return remain unchanged at N14.8 trillion and 5.6 per cent respectively.

Further analysis showed that activity level waned as the average volume and value of stocks traded declined by 59.2 and 37.5 per cent to 218.42 million units and N3.13 billion respectively, exchanged in 3,896 deals.

The most traded stocks by volume were Zenith Bank (53.1 million units), UBA (33.5 million units) and GT Bank (25.1 million units) while Zenith Bank (N1.1 billion), GT Bank (N753.2 million) and Stanbic (N269.8 million) led by value.

Reacting, market watchers said they expected bargain hunting to drive gains in the next trading session.

Investors’ sentiment improved as 14 stocks appreciated in value, while 11 others depreciated. Eterna led the gainers’ chart with 9.82 per cent to close at N4.81 per share, Academy followed with 7.41 per cent to close at 0.92 kobo, Africa Prudential gained 5.75 per cent to close at N5.70, Cornerstone garnered 5 per cent to close at 0.63 kobo while PZ increased by 5 per cent to close at N4.20.

Etranzact led the losers’ chart with 9.91 per cent to close at N1.91 per share. Wema Bank was next with 5.17 per cent to close at 0.55 kobo, Courtville dropped 4.76 per cent to close at 0.20 kobo, FCMB lost 3.86 per cent to close at N2.26 while Ardova fell by 3.61 per cent to close at N12.