Stocks retreated into the red in the outgoing week to Thursday, after a single-week break, as political tensions added to a prolonged bearish sentiment, prompting investors to stay away from the market.
Moreover, 82 per cent of shares remain trapped in 'floor price', squeezing the opportunities for investors to derisk their portfolio, market insiders said.
Of the five trading days this week, three sessions suffered losses while two others managed to close in the green amid choppy trading.
DSEX, the benchmark index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), went down by 17.55 points, or 0.28 per cent, to settle the week at 6,227.82 after gaining 30 plus points in the week before.
Stocks returned to the losing streak amid confidence crisis stemming from worries about the weakening macro-economy, dismal performance forecasts of the listed companies and fears regarding the resurgence of political uncertainties, said EBL Securities, a stockbroker, in its analysis.
"Liquidity in the market continued to be squeezed, with single-day turnover hitting a 20-month low twice this week as most of the stocks are being disregarded at the floor," it said.
Investor confidence continues to weaken, prompting them to liquidate their portfolios and remain on the sidelines in the absence of a major market trigger, said a merchant banker.
The large-cap stocks, which dominated the market earlier, remained stuck at floor price level due to limited liquidation opportunities, making investors reluctant to inject fresh funds, he said.
Majority of the issues remained stuck at the 'floor price level'. Of the 372 issues traded, 20 advanced, 75 declined and 277 issues remained unchanged on the DSE.
The week's total turnover amounted to Tk 15.37 billion, down from Tk 20.25 billion in the previous week. And the daily turnover averaged out at Tk 3.07 billion, down 24 per cent from the previous week's average of Tk 4.05 billion.
The low-cap IT sector dominated the turnover chart, grabbing almost 23 per cent of the week's total turnover, followed by pharma (13 per cent) and food (10 per cent).
According to the International Leasing Securities, most investors remained pessimistic and reluctant to make fresh investments in the stocks ahead of the election year as the investors failed to find any clear direction about the future market movement.
Major sectors showed mixed performances. Food & allied, engineering and power sectors posted modest gain while banking, pharma and general insurance suffered losses.
Aamra Network became in the week's turnover leader with shares worth Tk 826 million changing hands, followed by Genex Infosys, Bashundhara Paper Mills, Orion Pharma and Eastern Housing.
Orion Infusion was the week's top gainer, soaring 33.52 per cent while Sonali Aansh Industries was the worst loser, shedding 44.36 per cent.
Two other indices of the DSE also edged higher. The DS30 Index, comprising blue-chip companies, shed 12.55 points to close at 2,203 and the DSES Index lost 8.70 points to finish at 1,361.
The Chittagong Stock Exchange (CSE) also dropped, with the CSE All Share Price Index (CASPI) losing 81 points to settle at 18,338 and its Selective Categories Index (CSCX) shedding 49 points to close the week at 10,987.
Of the issues traded, 55 declined, 23 advanced and 152 issues remained unchanged on the CSE trading floor. The port-city bourse traded 7.26 million shares and mutual fund units with a turnover value of Tk 278 million.