Stocks slip amid political troubles

Stocks continued to suffer for a second week as investors remained cautious of injecting fresh funds amid ongoing political volatility.

DSEX, the benchmark general index of Dhaka Stock Exchange, declined 12.62 points or 0.25 percent, to close the last week at 4,956.

Although macro indicators such as inflation, interest rate and private sector credit growth are in favour of the market, investors seem to be shaky because of instability on the political frontier, LankaBangla Securities said.

“Investors went for short-term investment during the week resulting in volatility in stock prices,” the stockbroker said.

The continuous nationwide blockade brought back memories of last year’s supply chain breakdown, forcing investors to be cautious of fresh spending, IDLC Investments said in its weekly market analysis.

However, some investors were comparatively bullish on future macroeconomic prospects, backed by optimistic growth forecast by the World Bank and higher private sector credit growth, the merchant bank said.

The World Bank on Wednesday predicted 6.2 percent economic growth this fiscal year, up from last year’s 6.1 percent, provided that political stability prevails like last year.

Last week’s daily turnover averaged at Tk 370.43 crore, which is 32.75 percent higher than the previous week.

Among the major sectors, paper and printing rose the highest with 4.3 percent, followed by food and allied 4.2 percent and textile 3.2 percent. Conversely, top losing sectors were ceramic with a 2 percent fall, followed by mutual fund 1.9 percent, telecom 1.8 percent and miscellaneous 1.4 percent.

Of the 317 issues that traded on the premier bourse, 124 advanced and 168 declined, while 23 remained unchanged.

IDLC Finance topped the week’s turnover chart with 71.89 lakh shares worth Tk 58.43 crore changing hands. Bangladesh Building Systems followed, with Agni Systems, Saif Powertec and Desco in tow.

Northern Jute Manufacturing was the week’s top gainer, registering a 20.89 percent increase following its promotion to ‘A’ category from ‘Z’ category. Quasem Drycells plunged 8.07 percent and ended up as the worst loser.