Stocks continued to plummet in the outgoing week, extending the losing streak for the fourth consecutive week, as investor sentiment remained grim despite the government's move to prop up the market.
This week also saw the prime index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), hit a 33-month low and dive below the 4900-mark, finally settling at 4,855, down 77.90 points or 1.58 per cent over the previous week.
The DSEX has wiped out a cumulative 381 points in the past four weeks and the market-cap lost Tk 195 billion during the period.
According to market analysts, depressed market outlook, withdrawal of foreign fund and no quick solution following the finance minister's meeting with the stakeholders have further dented the investor confidence.
The government's recent market-supportive measures, including the central bank's declaration to ease advance-deposit ratio (ADR) and the finance minister's assurance, apparently failed to bring the investors back to the market, they said.
Retail investors turned bearish and were looking for an exit, bringing down the DSEX to a record 33-month low, said the International Leasing Securities.
Even the finance minister's assurance to continue to support the market and the news of a move to end the row between the government and the top mobile phone operator, a listed company, also failed to revive the ailing market, the stockbroker noted.
On Monday, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal held a marathon meeting with the regulators and stakeholders to work out ways to stop the free fall of market.
The minister pledged that the government will continue to extend its support to the market, and assured all that good stocks will be brought to the market and good governance will be ensured to improve the situation.
He also said steps would be taken to speed up the process of listing the state-owned enterprises (SoEs) in order to help reinvigorate the ailing capital market.
An analyst said the investors apparently did not take the finance minister's assurance at face value, as the government often comes up with the issue of listing of the SoEs, but there is no visible progress.
The government's move to use 'idle funds' of state-owned autonomous entities for development work also eroded investor confidence, said a leading broker.
It [use of idle money of autonomous entities] would rather worsen the ongoing liquidity crunch in the banking sector, he noted.
However, the government move to end a row with Grameenphone perked up the telecom sector, which booked the highest gain of 9.79 per cent, as Grameenphone share price jumped 10.29 per cent.
The government and top mobile phone operator have recently reached a consensus on settling the longstanding dispute over audit claims amicably, said the broker.
The outgoing week saw five trading days as usual. Of them, first two sessions saw marginal gain while the three others ended lower.
Two other equities indices also closed lower. The DS30 index, comprising blue chips, shed 1.13 points to finish at 1,735 and the DSE Shariah Index lost 33.58 points to close at Tk 1,123.
The weekly total turnover on the prime bourse stood at Tk 18.98 billion, up from Tk 16.86 billion in the week before.
The daily turnover averaged out at Tk 3.79 billion, down 10 per cent from the previous week's average of Tk 4.21 billion.
The market capitalisation of the DSE fell 0.12 per cent to Tk 3,689 billion on Thursday from Tk 3,694 billion in the previous week.
Most of the major sectors showed negative performances, with pharma sector losing the highest of 4.48 per cent, followed by engineering (4.15 per cent), power (0.94 per cent), non-bank financial institutions (0.86 per cent) and banking (0.25 per cent).
On the other hand, telecom sector posted the highest gain of 9.79 per cent followed by food with (0.37 per cent).
Losers outnumbered the gainers, as out of 355 issues traded, 239 closed lower and 83 higher while 33 issues remained unchanged on the DSE floor in the outgoing week.
National Tubes dominated the week's turnover chart, with shares worth Tk 1.21 billion changing hands during the week.
Provati Insurance was also the week's best performer, posting a gain of 32 per cent while the Monno Ceramic was the worst loser, shedding 30.74 per cent.
The port city's bourse, Chittagong Stock Exchange (CSE), also ended lower, with its CSE All Share Price Index - CASPI - losing 222 points to settle at 14,760 and the Selective Categories Index - CSCX - shedding 135 points to finish the week at 8,960.