The benchmark equity index nosedived on Monday amid panic-driven selling pressure, with all the major sectors closing in the red.
Market operators said jittery investors raced to dump their holdings on a rumour of possible withdrawal of 'floor price' restrictions set by the securities regulator to avert any major market fall.
Officials of the securities regulator, however, said they have not taken any such decision as yet.
Of the major sectors, pharmaceuticals & chemicals, telecommunications, engineering, fuel & power and travel & leisure intensified the correction witnessed by the benchmark DSEX index of Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE).
Securities in these sectors declined as high as 9.3 per cent on the premier bourse.
The market opened the session on a negative note and the DSEX continued its downward trend until the closure of the session, settling 1.82 per cent or 119.87 points lower at 6,449.63.
The Shariah-based DSES index also plunged 1.91 per cent or 27.61 points to close at 1,415.85 while the DS30 index, comprising blue chip securities, closed at 2,314.13 with a loss of 2.0 per cent or 47.43 points.
"The market started wading through choppy trading as investors' concerns loomed over the current macroeconomic adversities along with a bleak national and global economic outlook," said a market review of EBL Securities.
It also said moderate corrections turned into steep free-fall within the mid-session as baseless rumours about 'floor price' withdrawal spread across the trading floor, prompting the majority of investors to exert panic-driven sell pressure.
Of 369 issues traded on Monday, only 19 advanced, 167 declined and 183 others remained unchanged on DSE.
The DSE posted a turnover of Tk 14.17 billion, up 21.17 per cent from the previous day's turnover of Tk 11.69 billion.
Of the total turnover, Tk 990 million came from transactions executed on the block board.
"Dhaka stocks nosedived due to the heavy sell pressures by the panicked investors as the rumour spread in the market over floor price withdrawal," said a market review of International Leasing Securities.
It said the turnover, however, increased as many investors grabbed the opportunities of buying stocks at a cheaper price.
Of the sectors which saw price corrections, banking sector declined 0.3 per cent, engineering 1.2 per cent, financial institutions 2.0 per cent, fuel & power 1.0 per cent, general insurance 0.4 per cent, life insurance 2.2 per cent, pharmaceuticals & chemicals 1.9 per cent and telecommunications 0.1 per cent.
Textile was the only one sector which saw price appreciation (1.1 per cent) on the premier bourse.
Investors' participation was concentrated mostly on pharmaceuticals & chemicals sector which grabbed 23.4 per cent of the market turnover followed by miscellaneous (13.4 per cent), paper & printing (12.6 per cent), and engineering (12.3 per cent).
Orion Pharma topped the scrip-wise turnover chart with a value of Tk 1.50 billion followed by Beximco (Tk 1.15 billion), Sonali Paper & Board Mills (Tk 816 million), IPDC Finance (Tk 494 million), and Eastern Housing (Tk 344 million).
Aftab Automobiles was the top gainer with a rise of 8.97 per cent or Tk 2.6 to close at Tk 31.60 each.
Bangladesh Welding Electrodes was the worst loser, shedding 7.41 per cent or Tk 1.80 to close at Tk 22.50 each.
CASPI, the benchmark index of Chittagong Stock Exchange (CSE), also declined 1.46 per cent or 282.84 points to close at 19,049.76 points on Monday.
Of 246 issues traded, 21 advanced, 119 declined and 106 others remained unchanged, with the CSE posting a turnover of Tk 195.76 million.
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