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Weekly market review: Stocks edge down as bears tighten grip

Average daily turnover tumbles 31pc on DSE

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Stocks passed yet another gloomy week to Thursday amid sluggish turnover, with majority stocks remaining stuck at floor price level as investors kept holding back from making fresh bets.

The DSEX, the prime index of Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), went down 4.94 points or 0.08 per cent to 6,215.30. The DSEX shed 45 points in the past two weeks.

Of the five trading days this week, three sessions suffered losses while two others saw marginal gains.

Market experts said the local macroeconomic situation was yet to show any impressive improvement that might boost investor confidence while the global banking turmoil and a risk of spillover appeared to be a new headache.

Investors have long been hooked to selective stocks while strong fundamental shares are stuck at floor prices, which, experts suggest, is a major barrier to bringing stability to the market.

This is why the market index tends to rise for one day only to fall in the next two days. This has been the case since the regulator imposed floor price.

The market index ended in the negative territory for two consecutive weeks as apprehensive investors continued to go on a selling binge of major sectors' stocks, said International Leasing Securities.

"Most investors remained pessimistic and reluctant to make fresh investments in stocks as they could not clearly foresee the market moving in a certain direction," said the stockbroker.

Investors preferred holding onto cash ahead of holy Ramadan as they are concerned over where inflation would reach during the month and so their participation was thin throughout the week, it added.

The week's total turnover stood at Tk 17.62 billion, down from Tk 25.40 billion the week before. And the daily average turnover plunged 31 per cent to Tk 3.52 billion.

The investors' low confidence in the market amid a dismal trend for a long coupled with liquidity crisis and lack of market triggers kept them mostly inactive, said a stockbroker.

Having funds stuck in the depressed market, buyers have been gradually shying away from stocks, he said.

He noted that the confidence crisis mainly arose from the present macroeconomic scenario that remains depressed amid the Russia-Ukraine war.

As a result, performances of listed companies may drop further in the coming quarters, he said.

According to EBL Securities, in the absence of a clear indication regarding the market's momentum, investors' confidence remained shaky, and they preferred to hold more cash positions rather than take long-term positions in equities.

Over the past week, the paper sector rose 2.9 per cent, jute advanced 2.4 per cent and services grew 2.4 per cent while IT dropped 2.2 per cent, life insurance fell 1.4 per cent and general insurance declined 0.7 per cent.

Of the 382 issues traded, 58 advanced, 63 declined and 261 issues remained unchanged on the DSE.

The low-cap IT sector dominated the turnover chart, grabbing almost 15 per cent of the week's total turnover, followed by food (14.5 per cent) and life insurance (12.4 per cent).

Sea Pearl Beach Resort became in the week's turnover leader with shares worth Tk 1.15 billion changing hands, followed by Rupali Life Insurance, Eastern Housing, Shinepukur Ceramics and Rangpur Dairy & Food Products.

Legacy Footwear was the week's top gainer, soaring 29.20 per cent while Bengal Windsor Thermoplastics was the worst loser, shedding 25.32 per cent.

Two other indices of the DSE also edged lower. The DS30 Index, comprising blue-chip companies, saw a loss of 0.74 point to 2,218 and the DSES Index lost 3.60 points to finish at 1,353.

However, the Chittagong Stock Exchange (CSE) edged higher with the CSE All Share Price Index (CASPI) gaining 22 points to settle at 18,374 and its Selective Categories Index (CSCX) rising 13 points to close the week at 11,014.

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