The Financial Express

Stocks in free fall amid panic-driven sell-offs

| Updated: April 04, 2021 18:15:52

Stocks in free fall amid panic-driven sell-offs

Stocks witnessed a big fall on Sunday as investors dumped their holdings amid fears over the adverse impact of the coronavirus lockdown in the country.

The market opened on a free fall which continued until the end of the session as panic gripped investors following the news of countrywide lockdown from Monday to slow the spread of the deadly virus.

DSEX, the prime index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), wiped out by 181 points or 3.44 per cent to settle at 5,088.

The DSE also suspended pre-opening and post-closing sessions from Sunday until further notice.

The market witnessed heavy sell-off over the last few sessions as rising Covid-19 cases heightened lockdown fears.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) said, the capital market transactions will be coordinated with banking time.

“If banks remain open during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic as well as lockdown, the stock market will also remain open then for the sake of the investors.”

The BSEC also urged the investors to refrain from paying heed to any rumour regarding stock market trading.

The regulator’s efforts to tame panic-driven investors done very little to clutch market fall, said a stockbroker.

The government decided to enforce a seven-day lockdown from Monday as coronavirus cases and deaths are rising across Bangladesh.

The first lockdown was imposed on Mar 26, 2020, after the first Covid-19 cases and deaths were reported in the country. At that time, trading on the stock market was remained shut for 66 days from March 26 to May 30, 2020.

The pandemic took an alarming turn in the second half of March this year.

Market analysts said the number of Covid-19 cases continued to rise alarmingly every day in the country and the situation is deteriorating fast which is taking a heavy toll on the struggling market.

The market has been in the doldrums for the last few weeks due to a host of reasons, including the setting of the margin loan rate ceiling by the securities regulator, approval of a number of big IPOs within a short period of time and repeated changes made in policies, said an analyst.

Two other indices also saw a sharp decline with the DSE30 Index, comprising blue chips, eroded 82.17 points to finish at 1,901 and the DSE Shariah Index (DSES) plunged 36.36 points to close at 1,166.

Stocks from all the sectors saw notable selling pressure.

Turnover, a crucial indicator of the market, stood at Tk 5.21 billion, which was 15 per cent higher than the previous day’s turnover of Tk 4.51 billion.

Losers took a strong lead over the gainers, as out of 324 issues traded, 251 declined, only 7 advanced and 66 issues remained unchanged on the DSE trading floor.

Beximco - the flagship company of Beximco Group- was the most- traded stock with shares worth about Tk 701 million changing hands, followed by Robi, Beximco Pharma, Asia Pacific Insurance and LankaBangla Finance.

Newly listed Desh General Insurance was the day’s top gainer, posting a gain of 9.71 per cent while Paramount Insurance was the worst loser, losing 12.27 per cent.

A total number of 121,536 trades were executed in the day’s trading session with a trading volume of 167.87 million shares and mutual fund units.

The market-cap of DSE also plunged to Tk 4,433 billion on Sunday, down from Tk 4,586 billion in the previous session.

The Chittagong Stock Exchange (CSE) also ended sharply lower with the CSE All Share Price Index – CASPI –losing 542 points to settle at 14,714 and the Selective Categories Index – CSCX tumbling 324 points to close at 8,878.

Of the issues traded, 184 declined, 13 advanced and 19 remained unchanged on the CSE.

The port city’s bourse traded 13 million shares and mutual fund units with a turnover value of Tk 754 million.

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