Retail investors are in despair as DSE witnesses volatility. BBN file photo

Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)-Bangladesh’s stocks started the New Year on a flat note on Wednesday amid sluggish turnover as late hours selling binge wiped-out the early gains.

DSEX, the prime index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), settled at 4,453, inching up by 0.35 point over the previous day.

The newly introduced ‘CNI-DSE Select Index (CDSET)’, which made debut on Wednesday, also lost 4.61 points to settle at 895.15.

Although the base value of the index is 1,000 points, it opened the day at 899.76 points.

Market insiders said investors mostly followed cautious stance on the opening day of the year after passing a worst year since the market debacle in 2010-2011.

The market opened on higher note and the key index rose more than 25 points within 20 minutes of trading. But rest of the session eroded almost all the initial gains on selling pressure.

United Power, LafargeHolcim, BATBC, Khulna Power and Summit Power witnessed price surged while price correction of Grameenphone, Brac Bank, Square Pharma and National Life Insurance sent the market in flat zone, they added.

However, DSEX lost more than 933 points or 17.32 per cent in 2019 amid liquidity crunch, gloomy macroeconomic outlook, soaring non-performing loans and foreign investors’ sell-offs.

The DSES (Shariah) index also advanced 3.82 points to settle at 1,003 points.

However, the DS30 index, comprising blue chips, fell 11.55 points to finish at 1,501.

Turnover, another important indicator of the market, stood at BDT 2.96 billion, which was 7.0 per cent lower than the previous day’s turnover of BDT 3.18 billion.

The insiders also said the bargain hunters took position on the lucrative price levels, especially in cement, power, textile, food and engineering sector stocks which helped the index to close in green.

However, lack of confidence among the investors regarding the future market direction fueled the sell pressure on telecom, bank and pharma sector stocks, said the stockbroker.

The power sector booked the highest gain of 2.11 per cent, followed by food with 1.34 per cent, engineering 1.10 per cent, and financial institutions 0.13 per cent.

On the other hand, telecom sector witnessed the highest loss of 1.53 per cent, followed by banking with 1.42 per cent and pharmaceuticals 0.29 per cent.

A total of 101,640 trades were executed in the day’s trading session with trading volume of 106.96 million shares and mutual fund units.

The market-cap of DSE increased to BDT 3,400 billion on Wednesday, from BDT 3,395 billion the previous day.

The gainers took a strong lead over the losers as out of 353 issues traded, 221 closed higher, 86 ended lower and 46 issues remained unchanged on the DSE trading floor.

Khulna Power topped the day’s turnover chart with shares worth Tk 175 million changing hands, closely followed by LafargeHolcim, Standard Ceramic, Beacon Pharmaceuticals and Standard Insurance.

National Feed Mills was also the day’s best performer, posting a gain of 10 per cent while Appollo Ispat Complex was the day’s biggest loser, shedding 4.94 per cent.

On the other hand, The Chittagong Stock Exchange (CSE) also edged up with the CSE All Share Price Index – CASPI – gaining 13 points to settle at 13,519 while the Selective Categories Index – CSCX – advancing 7.0 points to finish the year at 8195.

The gainers beat the losers as 139 issues closed higher, 65 ended lower and 24 remained unchanged.

The port city bourse traded 4.94 million shares and mutual fund units worth BDT 95 million in turnover.