Dhaka stocks gained slightly on Monday after a plunge in the previous two sessions as investors showed mixed reactions to increased restrictions the government is going to enforce in April 14-21 across the country to check the fresh wave of COVID-19 outbreak.
DSEX, the key index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange, increased by 0.45 per cent, or 23.57 points, to close at 5,188.27 points on Monday after losing 172.5 points in the previous two trading days.
Trading hours on the country’s two stock exchanges — the DSE and the Chittagong Stock Exchange, have been increased by 30 minutes (from 10:00am to 12:30pm) for Monday and Tuesday.
Earlier, the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission shortened the trading hours to two hours (from 10:00am to 12:00pm) amid restrictions the government has been enforcing since April 5 to check the pandemic.
The market ended with a moderate gain on Monday amid the investors’ mixed reactions to the forthcoming restrictions, market operators said.
The government on April 9 decided to enforce a ‘complete lockdown’ from April 14 as the cases of COVID-19 infection keep surging.
Market operators said that some investors anticipated that the market would remain open as the government declared that industries would continue to run during the restriction period.
Share prices of most of the companies had fallen heavily in recent weeks that provoked some investors to buy shares at lucrative prices, they said.
However, there were uncertainties among investors about the purview of the restrictions, they said.
They said that investors also feared an adverse impact of the restrictions on the economy.
The country logged the highest 83 deaths in a single day in the past 24 hours on Monday and 7,201 infections from COVID-19.
EBL Securities in its daily market commentary said, ‘Investors took advantage of low-priced securities of some large capitalised issues, which elevated the market into the green zone. Moreover, the 2-per cent circuit breaker directive of the floor-free securities also encouraged investors’ buying appetite.’
The BSEC on April 7 withdrew the floor prices of shares of 66 companies that caused a significant fall in the companies’ share prices on the following day. On April 10, the BSEC set the price-fall circuit breaker for the 66 companies at 2 per cent, lowering it from 10 per cent.
Earlier on March 19, 2020, the BSEC introduced the floor price system to bar share prices of listed companies from falling below a certain level to check free fall in share prices amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
The general insurance sector continued dominating the market with logging 45 per cent of the day’s total turnover.
Average share prices of the insurance sector advanced by 2.9 per cent on Monday.
Share prices of engineering, energy, bank and pharmaceutical sectors increased slightly on Monday.
Of the 346 scrips traded on the DSE on Monday, 158 advanced, 111 declined and 76 remained unchanged.
The turnover on the DSE increased slightly to Tk 494.31 crore on Monday from Tk 456.55 crore in the previous session.
DS30, a composition of 30 large capitalised companies, also added 0.4 per cent, or 7.88 points, to close at 1,960.8 points on Monday.
Shariah index DSES added 0.45 per cent, or 5.35 points, to settle at 1,182.96 points.
BEXIMCO led the turnover chart with its shares worth Tk 47.54 crore changing hands on the day.
Robi, Central Insurance Company, GBB Power, Purabi General Insurance, Asia Pacific Insurance, Beximco Pharmaceuticals, Sonar Bangla Insurance, BD Finance and Continental Insurance were the other turnover leaders on the day.
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