By Dipo Olowookere The year-to-date loss of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) shrank to 0.02 per cent on Wednesday following the 0.83 per cent growth recorded by the market. This was buoyed by the rising demand for equities, which left stocks of 20 companies on the exchange appreciating in value during the session. Only eight shares closed in the red territory yesterday. At the close of business, the All-Share Index (ASI) increased by 219.8 points to 26,831.76 points from 26,611.96 points, while the market capitalisation finally hit N14 trillion after gaining N117 billion to settle at N14.025 trillion as against N13.908 trillion it closed the previous day. Business Post reports that the activity chart was in red at the midweek trading session following the decline in the volume of shares traded, the value and the number of deals by 21.87 per cent, 10.80 per cent and 13.57 per cent respectively. A total of 322.8 million stocks worth N4.0 billion were traded in 4,046 deals yesterday compared with the 413.1 million equities worth N4.5 billion transacted in 4,681 deals on Tuesday. The huge trade in the shares of Sterling Bank continued in the session as the lender transacted 83.7 million units valued at N105.4 million. Access Bank transacted 46.1 million shares worth N308.4 million, Zenith Bank traded 24.9 million equities for N443.4 million, Lafarge Africa traded 18.7 million stocks worth N280.6 million, while Fidelity Bank exchanged 17.2 million shares for N32.2 million. Total Nigeria was the biggest price gainer on Wednesday as a result of the N8.80 price appreciation it recorded in the session, closing at N96.80 per share. Dangote Cement gained N3.90 to trade at N142.90 per unit, MTN Nigeria appreciated by N1.50 to quote at N129\u00a0\u00a0 1.50 per unit, GTBank improved by N1 to end at N28.05 per unit, while UAC Nigeria grew by 60 kobo to sell for N6.95 per unit. The heaviest price loser of the trading day was Nigerian Breweries as its stock price went down by N3.55 to finish at N49 per unit. PZ Cussons dropped 25 kobo after the sale of its dairy business to Friesland to settle at N4 per unit, Union Bank fell by 15 kobo to trade at N5 per share, Dangote Sugar depreciated by 10 kobo after its listed shares from its merger with Savannah Sugar on the exchange to close at N12.40 per unit, while University Press declined by 9 kobo to quote at N1.24 per share. Apart from the consumer goods sector, which lost 1.66 per cent on Wednesday, every other sector closed positive with the banking counter gaining 1.93 per cent, the industrial goods space rose by 1.40 per cent, the insurance index appreciated by 0.31 per cent, while the energy sector recorded a marginal growth of 0.05 per cent.