Stocks slipped into the red in the outgoing week to Thursday, snapping a four-week gaining streak, as jittery investors rushed to lock in profits from large-cap issues that witnessed price surge.
Of the five trading days this week, three sessions suffered losses while two others managed to close marginally higher amid choppy trading.
DSEX, the benchmark index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), settled the week 45 points or 0.69 per cent lower at 6,515, after surging 411 points in the previous four weeks.
Market operators said cautious investors booked profits on selective stocks while some were busy reshuffling their portfolios considering the upcoming earnings and dividend declarations.
"As the benchmark index of the premier bourse reached a nearly four-month high in the previous week, the risk-averse investors realised some profits on quick-gaining selective stocks this week," said a merchant banker.
The investors favoured booking profits, particularly on cement, financial institutions, pharma, power and banking sector stocks, he said.
"The stock market passed a gloomy week as the investors showed profit booking tendency throughout the week," said International Leasing Securities, in its weekly market analysis.
Most of the investors followed a cautious stance as the Bangladesh Bank embraced a floating exchange rate for inter-bank transactions that devalued taka against the dollar, said the stockbroker.
According to EBL Securities, stocks witnessed corrections since investors did not concentrate their focus on particular sector-specific stocks and instead rushed to chase quick-gaining stocks.
The profit-booking tendency was evident in some large-cap stocks, taking advantage of the recent price appreciation in the market as investors opted to rebalance their portfolios, said the stockbroker.
However, a buying spree from bargain hunters on some particularly lucrative stocks in the last session of the week tried to instill some positive momentum, said the stockbroker.
The week's total turnover stood at Tk 70.83 billion on the prime bourse as against Tk 90.91 billion in the previous week.
The daily turnover averaged out at Tk 14.16 billion, down 22 per cent over the previous week's average of Tk 18.18 billion.
Two other indices of the DSE also ended lower this week. The DS30 Index, comprising blue-chip companies, dropped 29.82 points to close at 2,346 and the DSES Index shed 11.69 points to finish at 1,429.
The pharmaceuticals sector dominated the turnover chart, grabbing 23 per cent of the week's total turnover, followed by miscellaneous (21 per cent) and engineering (10 per cent).
Major sectors suffered losses. Cement witnessed the highest loss of 4.70 per cent, followed by non-bank financial institutions 1.10 per cent, pharma 1.10 per cent, power 0.80 per cent, engineering 0.50 per cent and banking 0.40 per cent.
However, investors' enthusiasm was focused in the small-cap sectors like jute, travel & leisure and IT which saw remarkable gain by 21.80 per cent, 12 per cent and 3.30 per cent respectively.
Losers took a strong lead over the gainers as out of 388 issues traded, 183 ended lower, 96 higher and 109 issues remained unchanged on the DSE floor.
Beximco was the most-traded stock with shares of Tk 9.12 billion changing hands during the week, followed by Orion Pharma, JMI Hospital Requisite Manufacturing, LafargeHolcim and Shinepukur Ceramics.
JMI Hospital Requisite Manufacturing was the top gainer, soaring 24.92 per cent while Sunlife Insurance Company was the week's worst loser, losing 9.59 per cent.
The Chittagong Stock Exchange (CSE) also ended lower, with the CSE All Share Price Index (CASPI) losing 135 points to settle at 19,141 and its Selective Categories Index (CSCX) shedding 82 points to close the week at 11,472.
Of the issues traded, 158 declined, 91 advanced and 85 issues remained unchanged on the CSE trading floor.
The port-city bourse traded 33.40 million shares and mutual fund units with turnover value of Tk 1.44 billion.