Major price gains by some manufacturing companies sustained the dominance of the bulls in the equities sector of the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Thursday, before the market closed for the Easter holiday.

At the close of business, the market capitalisation of the NSE, which closed at N6.28tn in March, rose by 0.98 per cent, to close at N6.34 per cent, thus increasing the year-to-date gain of the market to 27.09 per cent.

The All-share Index of the NSE also rose by the same magnitude, to close higher at 26,219.74 points, from the 25,966.25 points at which it closed in March.

In the first quarter, the indices were driven largely by price gains by manufacturing companies.

The trend seem to be sustainable this month, as Flour Mills Nigeria Plc, led the price gainers on Thursday up by 294 kobo to close at N64 per share, while Julius Berger Plc, Northern Nigeria Flour Mills Plc, Unilever Nigeria Plc and Nigerian Breweries Plc added 171 kobo, 153 kobo, 149 kobo and 145 kobo, to close at N36.44, N32.32, N31.29 and N62.95 in that order.

The most active stocks, according to the report of Sterling capital markets Limited, were Goldlink Insurance Plc, with 25.2 million shares, Japaul Maritime Company Plc, with 22.8 million shares, Fidelity Bank Plc, with 19 million shares and Guaranty Trust Assurance Plc, with 18.7 million shares in that order.