Dhaka stocks posted a modest gain in the outgoing week as investors started putting fresh bets on lucrative stocks amid cautious trading.
Of the five trading days this week, three sessions closed higher while two others edged lower amid volatile trading.
Week on week, DSEX, the core index of Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), inched up 4.96 points or 0.07 per cent to settle at 6,757, after losing over 12 points in the week before.
The week's total turnover stood at Tk 46.83 billion on the prime bourse, which was Tk 39.01 billion in the week before.
Turnover, a crucial indicator of the market, climbed to Tk 11.16 billion on the country's premier bourse.
The daily turnover averaged out at Tk 9.36 billion on the country's premier bourse, up 20 per cent from the previous week's average of Tk 7.80 billion.
Market analysts said investors stepped up their participation as the stock market regulator took steps to enhance the flow of liquidity to the market.
Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) held a meeting with the market intermediaries on Wednesday where they agreed to take measures for increasing institutional participation in the market.
The optimistic investors put fresh funds on stocks as the securities regulator is trying to boost market liquidity through collaboration with market intermediaries, said a leading broker.
The stock market regulator also wrote to several banks asking them to invest in stocks in their existing capacity to support the market and strengthen the capital market.
Buoyed by increased participation, equity indices inched higher as the regulator's efforts are spurring investor confidence, said the broker.
According to a market review of EBL Securities, the market witnessed a mixed week as investors focused on specific stocks while some others liquidated their holdings.
Investors remained concerned about ongoing macroeconomic trends such as inflationary pressure, rising deposit rates and private credit growth rates, which will affect the medium-to-long-term health of the capital market, said the stockbroker.
"Most of the investors remained shaky and reluctant to make fresh investments in the stocks ahead of holy Ramadan as the investors failed to find any clear direction about the future market movement," said International Leasing Securities.
The December-end banking declaration also failed to meet the expectation of the optimistic investors, the stockbroker added.
Two other DSE indices also edged higher. The DS30 index, comprising blue chips, gained 7.26 points to finish at 2,474 and the DSE Shariah Index (DSES) advanced 11.30 points to close at 1,468.
Market capitalisation of the DSE also increased by 0.21 per cent to Tk 5,394 billion on Thursday, up from Tk 5,382 billion in the week before.
Most of the major sectors posted gains, with general insurance witnessing the highest gain of 5.30 per cent, followed by cement (3.0 per cent), engineering (1.30 per cent), telecom (0.70 per cent), pharma (0.40 per cent) and power (0.30 per cent).
On the other hand, the banking and food sectors lost 1.50 per cent and 0.10 per cent respectively.
Of the 384 issues traded, 179 advanced, 170 declined and 35 issues remained unchanged on the DSE trading floor.
Fortune Shoes was the most traded stock with shares worth Tk 3.66 billion changing hands, followed by Beximco, Genex Infosys, Sonali Papers & Board Mills and LafargeHolcim.
Bangladesh National Insurance Company was the week's top gainer, posting a 17.96 per cent gain, while Dutch-Bangla Bank was the worst loser, shedding 11.96 per cent, following its price adjustment after record date.
However, the Chittagong Stock Exchange (CSE), closed lower, with the CSE All Share Price Index (CASPI), losing 76 points to settle at 19,748 while its Selective Categories Index (CSCX) falling 46 points to close the week at 11,847.
Of the issues traded, 194 declined, 137 advanced, and 22 issues remained unchanged on the CSE trading floor.
The port-city bourse traded 88.58 million shares and mutual fund units with turnover value of Tk 2.21 billion.
A new issue, JMI Hospital Requisite Manufacturing, made its trading debut on Thursday. The medical equipment manufacturer's shares hit the upper circuit breaker on the debut day and closed at Tk 22 each, a 10 per cent increase from its issue price of Tk 20.