Investors’ positive sentiments sustained the bullish trading at the stock market yesterday with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) gaining 0.22 per cent to close at 43,609.77.

Although the gain was lower than Monday’s performance, the value and volume of trading rose by 3.80 per cent and 76.75 per cent to settle at N5.96 billion and 445.5 million shares respectively. According to analysts at SCM Capital, they expect a mixed market mood at tomorrow’s (today) session, while earnings scorecard expectation still remains the dominant theme in shaping investors’ sentiment.”

Yesterday’s appreciation lifted the year-to-date growth to 14 per cent. A look at the gainers’ table showed that Unilever Nigeria Plc led with 10.1 per cent, trailed by Caverton Offshore Support Plc with 9.8 per ent. Japaul Oil and Maritime Services Plc chalked up 8.7 per cent, while A.G Leventis Nigeria Plc went up by 7.0 per cent.

Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc maintained recent gaining streak, garnering 6.4 per cent. After suffering significant depreciation last month, CHI shares rebounded recently as investors reacted to assurance of more returns on their investments.

The Managing Director of the insurance firm, Mr. Eddie Efekoha had said strategies to boost the company’s performance were being put in place to enhance returns to shareholders.

According to him, recent capacity expansion and growth initiatives such as the establishment of new subsidiaries such as its Health Management Organisation (HMO) to focus on identified growth markets, launching of a revamped website with retail customer and broker interface, reinvigoration of the retail network and deployment of latest technology will help to further grow revenue.

Meanwhile, Regency Insurance Plc led the price losers, shedding 9.1 per cent, trailed by Multiverse Plc with 7.4 per cent. Wema Bank Plc went down by 5.0 per cent, followed by UNIC Diversified Holdings Plc with 4.7 per cent decline. Vitafoam Nigeria Plc and Sterling Bank Plc lost 4.6 per cent and 4.5 per cent in that order.

The NSE Banking Index was the only loser yesterday following losses posted by GTBank Plc (1.7 per cent), Access Bank (-2.2 per cent ) and Sterling Bank Plc.

However, the NSE Oil & Gas Index led with 1.4 per cent gain. The NSE Consumer Goods Index rose by 0.9 per cent, just as the NSE Insurance Index improved 0.1 per cent. The Industrial Goods Index recorded a marginal increase of 0.01 per cent.