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Stocks flat after choppy trading

FE REPORT | October 15, 2020 00:00:00

Stocks ended nearly flat on Wednesday after choppy trading as investors mostly followed cautious stance amid lower GDP growth forecasts by International Monetary Fund.

The market opened on upbeat note and the key index of the major bourse rose 47 points within the first hour of trading. However, all the initial gains wiped out as the session progressed amid selling pressure.

DSEX, the prime index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), saw a fractional loss of 0.80 point to settle at 4,839, after gaining 30 points in the previous day.

Market analysts said the bargain hunters took positions on lucrative stocks while cautious investors witnessed sell-offs on sector-wise stocks, taking the market in the flat territory.

The International Monetary Fund's lower GDP growth projection for Bangladesh after the World Bank, added further woes to the market performance, said a leading broker.

According to the latest World Economic Outlook published on Tuesday, the IMF projects a 4.4 per cent economic growth of Bangladesh in the current fiscal year after the World Bank's forecasts at 1.6 per cent, much lower than the government's target of 8.2 per cent.

Investors are ramping up their sell-offs in later part of the session as they were engaging in profit booking while others were becoming anxious over the future economic condition of Bangladesh, the broker said.

He noted that the second wave of novel coronavirus which appears to be imminent in Europe would negatively affect exports and may have adverse impact on Bangladesh's economy.

Two other indices, however, closed in the green. The DS30 index, comprising blue chips, gained 7.13 points to finish at 1,656 and the DSE Shariah Index rose 4.70 points to close at 1,108.

Turnover, a crucial indicator of the market, stood at Tk 6.50 billion on the country's prime bourse, which was 10.35 per cent higher than the previous session's two and a half month's lowest turnover of Tk 5.89 billion.

Many investors remained on the sideline to observe the market movement due to assess the impact of the second wave of coronavirus on Bangladesh's economy, commented EBL Securities.

According to International Leasing Securities, the market witnessed volatility throughout the session as cautious investors kept booking profit from major sectors issues while opportunist investors took position in the selective stocks.

Major sectors showed mixed performances. General insurance sector witnessed the highest loss of 6.60 per cent, followed by mutual funds with 5.80 per cent, financial institutions 2.90 per cent and life insurance 2.50 per cent.

On the other hand, engineering sector posted the highest gain of 4.90 per cent, followed by food with 1.70 per cent, power 0.90 per cent, telecom 0.70 per cent and pharma 0.40 per cent.

Losers took a modest lead over the gainers as out of 355 issues traded, 169 ended lower, 134 closed higher while 52 issues remained unchanged on the DSE trading floor.

A total number of 160,677 trades were executed in the day's trading session with a trading volume of 261.60 million shares and mutual fund units.

The insurance sector continued dominating the turnover chart with Asia Pacific Insurance topped the turnover list with shares worth Tk 242 million changing hands, followed by Bangladesh Submarine Cable, Beximco, Beximco Pharma and Brac Bank.

GPH Ispat was also the day's best performer, posting a gain of 10 per cent following the news that the company will ship 25,000 tonnes of MS billet to China for $10.17 million.

Peoples Insurance was the worst loser, losing 10 per cent.

However, the Chittagong Stock Exchange ended marginally lower with its All Shares Price Index (CASPI)-losing 23 points to close at 13,814 while the Selective Categories Index - CSCX losing 13 points to close at 8,296.

Of the issues traded, 117 declined, 79 advanced and 47 remained unchanged on the CSE.

The port city bourse traded 11.32 million shares and mutual fund units with turnover value of more than Tk 290 million.

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