Stocks slump as students’ protests intensify

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:05, Aug 06,2018

 
 

Dhaka stocks slumped on Sunday after gaining in the previous three consecutive sessions as investors went for jittery share sales across the board as the students’ protests against poor road-safety in the country turned violent on the seventh day on Saturday.
Students took to the streets after two of their fellows were killed as a bus while racing two others ploughed through a crowd of students and other waiting for bus at Kurmitola in Dhaka on July 29.
DSEX, the key index of Dhaka Stock Exchange, lost 0.79 per cent, or 42.76 points, to close at 5,357.02 points on Sunday after gaining 136.87 points in the previous three trading sessions.
The market fell from the beginning of the day that continued until the end of the session as investors became concerned about the country’s financial sectors as the students’ protests intensified, market operators said.
On Sunday, the key index witnessed a sharp fall after news of several violent attacks on the protesters at Dhanmondi, Jigatala and Rampura spread through social media and television channels, market operators said.
The national and international media reported that since July 29 students brought the Dhaka city to a standstill with blockades set up across the city that disconnected its road communication with other cities.
The protests took a violent turn from Saturday night as police and activists of the ruling party’s student wing attacked the students that left scores injured.
The media also reported that the situation was worsening day by day and could turn into widespread anti-government protests ahead of the general elections that made investors cautious on the trading floor, market operators said.
They said that the continuous protests on the streets would hamper business of the companies heavily.
They said a section of investors also went for encashing their investments to buy shares of Aman Cotton Fibrous Limited that would make its debut on the market today. On August 2, the media reported that finance minister AMA Muhith said that all banks would have to bring down the interest rate to single digit from August 9 that made investors uncertain about the implementation of the decision as the rate was expected to come into force from July 1, market operators said.
They said share trading through the DSE mobile app plunged on Sunday as the government kept disconnected mobile internet connection from Saturday night.
On Sunday, out of 20,000 buy and sale orders were placed through the app, 13,000 were executed, while the figures were 31,000 and 21,000 in the previous trading session.
The market had gained significantly in the previous three sessions as Bangladesh Bank announced monetary policy for the first half of the current fiscal year on July 31 without taking any measures of squeezing money supply.
The average share prices of all the sectors except insurance dropped on the day.
The prices of bank, non-bank financial institutions, cement and pharmaceuticals declined by 1.4 per cent, 1.0 per cent, 0.62 per cent and 0.6 per cent respectively.
Out of the 30 traded bank scrips, 24 declined, just four advanced and two remained unchanged.
Turnover on the DSE also dropped to Tk 659.22 crore on Sunday compared with that of Tk 764.01 crore in the previous trading session.
Of the 337 companies and mutual funds traded, 194 declined, 115 advanced and 25 remained unchanged.
DS30, the blue-chip index of the DSE, also dropped by 0.63 per cent, or 12.08 points, to close at 1,887.15 points.
Shariah index DSES shed 0.78 per cent, or 9.86 points, to finish at 1,262.23 points.
FAR Chemical Industries led the turnover chart with its shares worth Tk 22.26 crore changing hands.
United Power Generation Company, Saiham Textile Mills, Paramount Textiles, Fu-Wang Foods, Dragon Sweater, Simtex Industries, BBS Cables, Alif Manufacturing Company and National Housing Finance were the other turnover leaders.
Regent Textile gained the most on the day with a 9.90-per cent increase in its share prices, while Padma Life Insurance was the worst loser, shedding 9.57 per cent.

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