By Dipo Olowookere What could have been the seventh consecutive loss on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) was averted on Friday by Airtel Africa Plc. The telco put a pause to the bleeding of the stock market yesterday, helping the exchange grow by 0.83 percent at the close of business. For the past six trading sessions, the market had endured pains caused by profit-takers, but on Friday, the local bourse heaved a sigh of relief as the All-Share Index (ASI) increased by 203.79 points to 24,828.96 points from 24,625.17 points, while the market capitalisation chalked up N106 billion to settle at N12.952 trillion as against N12.846 trillion it ended on Thursday. The market sentiment grew yesterday as there were 14 price gainers as against 13 price losers. Airtel Africa led the growers\u2019 gang with N29.80 added to its share price to finish at N328.70 per share, while Nestle Nigeria followed with a price appreciation of N21 to settle at N1,200 per unit. UAC Nigeria grew by 45 kobo to quote at N7.45 per share, Ecobank gained 45 kobo to close at N5.25 per unit, while Nigerian Breweries garnered 30 kobo to sell at N35 per share. On the laggards\u2019 board, Dangote Cement took the juiciest spot after shedding N2 to finish at N128 per unit, while Fidson trailed with a loss of 32 kobo to quote at N2.98 per share. PZ Cussons depreciated by 20 kobo to quote at N3.85 per share, Flour Mills went down by 20 kobo to settle at N19.60 per unit, while Oando declined by 10 kobo to N2.40 per share. A look at the sectoral performance showed that the consumer goods index grew by 0.96 percent on Friday, followed by the banking sector, which appreciated by 0.64 percent, and the insurance space, which gained 0.04 percent. However, the oil\/gas counter depreciated by 0.45 percent, while the industrial goods index declined by 0.35 percent. Apart from the value of transactions, which grew by 32.55 percent yesterday, the volume and number of deals depreciated by 2.36 percent and 16.67 percent respectively. Business Post reports that 127.2 million stocks worth N2.2 billion were transacted during the session in 2,844 deals compared with Thursday\u2019s 130.3 million equities worth N1.6 billion traded in 3,413 deals. GTBank was the most attractive stock at the market yesterday, trading 38.3 million units valued at N870.5 million, while AIICO exchanged 13.5 million shares for N13.5 million. FBN Holdings traded 6.7 million equities for N34.9 million, FCMB sold 6.7 million shares for N12.3 million, while Mutual Benefits Assurance exchanged 5.3 million stocks for N1.2 million.