Stocks got back into the red on Monday, the second trading session after a long closure, amid a growing tension over the Covid-19 outbreak as the country is set to emerge a new global hotspot for the virus.
DSEX, the key index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange, went down by 60.95 points, or 1.50 per cent, to close at 3999, after adding more than 52 points the previous day.
The presence of investors is thin at the brokerage houses as many investors are yet to return to Dhaka after the market closure, the longest since the Liberation War. Many investors are executing trade through phones, said a stockbroker.
The managements of the bourses also discourage clients for rushing into the brokerage houses and encourage trading through mobile apps and other internet-based devices due to the ongoing pandemic.
The recently introduced circuit-break system also annoyed many investors as most of the shares were stuck at the floor. Very few buyers came and picked some of the offered shares, market operators said.
Of the issues traded, 230 remained unchanged as only 27 issues advanced and 70 declined on the DSE trading floor.
The securities regulator – Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission – imposed the circuit breaker on March 19 to curb the free-fall of stock prices.
Under the new circuit breaker system, prices of no securities will be allowed to hit below its last five days’ average price.
Market analysts said the growing tension over the impacts of Covid-19 outbreak remained in the investors’ mind as the number of Covid-19 deaths and cases continued to rise in Bangladesh.
The death toll from the deadly virus has reached 672 and the number of total infected person stands at 49,534 as of Monday.
Two other indices of the DSE also ended lower. Of them, DS30 index, comprising blue chips, fell 18.18 points to finish at 1,347 and DSE Shariah Index lost 21.64 points to close at 929.
Turnover, a crucial indicator of the market, stood at Tk 1.98 billion on the country’s premier bourse, rising 38 per cent over the last session’s mark of Tk 1.43 billion.
“Many investors followed the ‘wait-and-see’ strategy ahead of earnings and dividend declarations of banks and non-bank financial institutions,” said an analyst.
A total number of 34,598 trades were executed in the day’s trading session with a trading volume of 44.98 million shares and mutual fund units.
The market-cap of the DSE also rose to Tk 3,122 billion, from Tk 3,161 billion in the previous session.
Square Pharma topped the turnover chart with shares worth Tk 264 million changing hands, followed by Beximco Pharma, Grameenphone, Beximco and Indo-Bangla Pharma.
Phoenix Finance was the day’s best performer, posting a gain of 9.17 per cent while ICB Islamic Bank was the worst loser, losing 9.67 per cent.
Chittagong Stock Exchange also ended lower with its All Shares Price Index (CASPI) losing 127 points to close at 11,341 and the Selective Categories Index CSCX shedding 78 points to finish at 6,873.
Of the issues traded, 27 gained, 34 declined and 62 remained unchanged on the CSE.
The port city bourse traded 3.23 million shares and mutual fund units worth Tk 551 million in turnover.