Dhaka stocks posted a marginal gain on Thursday, snapping a three-day losing streak, while investors mostly remained on the sidelines.
Market analysts said most of the investors adopted a cautious stance while some were busy rebalancing their portfolio amid ongoing corporate declarations, taking the market to a nearly flat territory.
A leading broker said small investors were not confident enough to inject fresh funds and the institutional investors continued to follow a 'go-slow' strategy. As a result, the market turnover dipped below 6.0 billion-mark again.
The market opened on a positive note on the day and the key index jumped about 37 points within the first 30 minutes of trading. But the rest of the session saw the index wipe out the gains amid volatility.
At the end of the session, DSEX, the prime index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), went up by 2.60 points or 0.04 per cent to finish at 5,655.
The International Leasing Securities said investors were rebalancing their portfolios based on the latest earnings disclosures and keeping in mind the upcoming year-end dividend declarations by bank and financial institutions.
Two other indices also edged higher. The DS30 index, comprising blue chips, rose 18.17 points to finish at 2023 and the DSES (Shariah) gained 0.63 point to settle at 1,292.
Turnover, another important indicator of the market, fell to Tk 5.85 billion, 17 per cent down from the previous day's turnover of Tk 7.08 billion.
The heavyweight banking sector dominated the turnover chart, capturing 19 per cent of the day's total turnover, followed by pharmaceuticals (12 per cent) and food & allied sector (11 per cent).
A total of 130,804 trades were executed in the day's trading session with trading volume of 104.53 million shares and mutual fund units.
The market-cap of the DSE also increased to Tk 4,196 billion from Tk 4,180 billion in the previous day.
Food & allied sector posted the highest gain of 3.96 per cent riding on BATBC which gained 5.0 per cent alone.
Pharmaceuticals, banking and telecommunication sectors also gained 0.57 per cent, 0.55 per cent and 0.22 per cent respectively.
Engineering posted the highest loss of 0.99 per cent, followed by power (0.32 per cent) and non-bank financial institutions (0.05 per cent).
The losers took a strong lead over the gainers as out of 347 issues traded, 231 closed lower, 77 ended higher and 39 issues remained unchanged on the DSE trading floor.
BATBC topped the turnover list with shares worth Tk 537 million changing hands, closely followed by Brac Bank, United Power, Dutch-Bangla Bank and Monno Ceramic Industries.
Prime Finance First Mutual Fund was the day's best performer, posting a gain of 8.42 per cent riding on the news that ICB Asset Management Company decided to extent the tenure of the mutual fund 10 years more up to March 14, 2029.
Reliance Insurance was the day's worst loser, shedding 10.33 per cent following its price adjustment after record date.
However, the port city bourse, Chittagong Stock Exchange edged lower with the CSE All Share Price Index - CASPI - losing 12 points to settle at 17,351 while the Selective Categories Index - CSCX - dipped 6.50 points to finish at 10,514.
Here too, the losers beat the gainers as 171 issues closed lower, 52 ended higher and 27 remained unchanged.
The port city bourse traded 5.10 million shares and mutual fund units worth Tk 215 million in turnover.
Trading and official activities on both the bourses will remain closed on March 17 (Sunday) due to public holiday on the occasion of the birthday of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
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