The Nigerian stock market opened the week positive yesterday as capitalization advanced by 257 billion naira.

The All Share Index (ASI) rose 470.74 points, representing an increase of 0.92 percent to close at 51,693.08 points. While the overall market capitalization value gained N257 billion to close at N28.156 trillion.

The rally was impacted by gains in mid- and large-cap stocks, including; Airtel Africa, Nigerian Breweries, United Capital, Nigerian Exchange Group (NGXGroup) and Africa Prudential.

Looking ahead to the week, United Capital Plc expected the bears to resume trading across the board as we anticipate further distribution in other sectors as investors book gains from the prolonged rally.

According to United Capital, the latest debits from the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) in the money market will likely deter investors from holding stocks in the near term as they expect improved money market returns.

“However, we view any downturn as a near-term buying opportunity, as we expect investor risk sentiments to persist through the first quarter of 2023, favoring the equity market, as prevailing downward pressure in interest rates will persist during the quarter”.

Market sentiment, as measured by market breadth, was positive as 18 stocks gained, relative to 16 losers. Thomas Wyatt Nigeria posted the biggest price gain of 9.28 per cent to close at N1.06 per share. Associated Bus Company followed with a gain of 8.00 percent to close at 27 kobo, while Royal Exchange rose 5.88 percent to close at N1.08, per share.

Airtel Africa rose 5.16% to close at N1,630.00, while Hallmark Insurance Consolidated appreciated 5.00% to close at kobo 63 per share.

On the other hand, Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN) led the losers chart by 8.63 per cent to close at N6.35 per share. Wema Bank followed down 8.21 percent to close at N3.58, while AIICO Insurance lost 6.25 percent to close at kobo 60 per share.

Caverton Offshore Support Group declined 4.95% to close at 96 kobo, while Stanbic IBTC Holdings fell 4.33% to close at N32.00 per share.

In addition, the total transaction volume increased by 17.10 percent to 229.219 million units, valued at N2.908 billion, and exchanged in 3,900 transactions.

Trading in Sterling Bank shares topped the activity chart with 85.178 million shares valued at N119.255 million. United Bank for Africa (UBA) followed with 21.623 million shares worth N173.308 million, while FBN Holdings (FBNH) traded 20.091 million shares valued at N222.860 million.

Access Holdings traded 10.325 million shares worth N95.528 million while Zenith Bank traded 8.292 million shares worth N202.481 million.