By G9ija

Nigerian equity market on Thursday rose to the highest in more than five years as massive buying pressures triggered a market-wide circuit breaker for the first time.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index posted its largest daily gain in more than five years on Thursday.

The ASI rose beyond the set threshold of five per cent, triggering a 30-minute trading halt of all stocks for the first time since the circuit breaker was introduced in 2016.

According to a statement from the exchange, the circuit breaker protocol was triggered at 12:55pm when the NSE ASI increased from 33,268.36 in the previous day’s trading to 34,959.39.

The market reopened at exactly 1:25pm, with a 10-minute intraday auction session, before resuming continuous trading till the close of the day at 2:30pm.

Following the resumption of trading activities, the equities market recorded a 6.23 per cent increase in the ASI to close at 35,342.46 points, reaching a market capitalisation of N18.47tn.

Consequently, the ASI rose by 2,074.1 basis points or 6.23 per cent to close at 35,243.46 index points as against 33,268.36 recorded the previous day.

Market capitalisation of equities appreciated by N1.08tn or 6.23 per cent to close higher at N18.47tn from N17.38tn as market sentiment remained on the green territory.

Meanwhile, a turnover of 1.19 billion shares in 10,704 deals was recorded in the day’s trading.

The premium sub-sector was the most active (measured by turnover volume); with 505.35 million shares exchanged by investors in 4,222 deals.

The volume in the sub-sector was driven by activities in the shares of Zenith Bank Plc and FBNH Plc.

The banking sub-sector boosted by the activities in the shares of Fidelity Bank Plc and GTbank Plc followed with a turnover of 236.66 milion shares in 1,918 deals.

The number of gainers at the close of trading session was 65 while decliners closed at eight.