Stocks drop for 2nd week on virus concerns

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A file photo shows investors looking at a computer screen displaying the movement of share prices at a brokerage in the capital, Dhaka. Shares in Dhaka fell slightly last week after a dip the previous week, with some investors continuing to sell shares while others bought shares amid better earnings reports. — New Age Photo

Shares in Dhaka fell slightly last week after a dip the previous week, with some investors continuing to sell shares while others bought shares amid better earnings reports.

The DSEX, the main index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange, lost 0.06% or 4.03 points over the past week to close at 7,023.52 points on January 27, the last trading session of the week, after dropping 78.14 points the previous week.

Prior to the two-week plunge, the DSEX had gained 404 points in four weeks.

Stocks finished in the negative zone as a sharp decline in the first two sessions outpaced the gain in the last three sessions over the past week.

Many investors were cautious on the trading floor amid a rise in Covid cases, market operators said.

They said the market rebounded as a number of companies announced better quarterly results that caught investors’ attention.

Square Pharmaceuticals’ share price climbed 2.9% over the week after the company reported earnings per share rose to Tk 5.24 in October-December 2021 from Tk 4.33 during the same period of the previous year.

A surge in Square Pharmaceuticals stock prices alone added 15 points to the index during the week.

LafargeHolcim Bangladesh declared a record cash dividend of 25% and reported EPS of Tk 3.34 in fiscal 2021 compared to EPS of Tk 2.03 the previous year.

Despite a gain in the stock prices of most companies, the market ended on a negative trajectory as a number of large-cap companies fell during the week.

A fall in stock prices Beacon Pharmaceuticals, BEXIMCO, National Life Insurance, Fortune Shoes and British American Tobacco together lost 30 points against the DSEX last week.

Of 388 issues traded, 184 advanced, 166 declined and 38 remained unchanged on the DSE floor.

EBL Securities, in its weekly market commentary, said: “Equity indices on the Dhaka Stock Exchange saw mixed trading sessions last week as investors opted to rebalance portfolios based on recent tax returns. , while a portion of investors opted for profit booking.”

“Although the government has extended the Covid restrictions until February 21, the strong profits posted by listed companies have largely calmed the mood of investors,” he said.

Average stock prices of non-banking financial institutions, textiles, food and energy fell 5.1%, 1.4%, 0.8% and 0.7% respectively.

Share prices in the general insurance, cement, telecommunications and banking sectors rose 2.5%, 2.1%, 1.1% and 0.9% respectively.

The DS30 index of 30 large-cap companies lost 10 points to end at 2,592.34 points, but the DSE Shariah index added 4.27 points to close at 1,504.25 points.

Average daily turnover, a crucial indicator of investor participation, increased by 4.55% to Tk 1,285.77 crore during the week from Tk 1,229.85 crore the previous week.

Union Insurance Company Limited was the best performer of the week, posting a gain of 59.77%, while Samorita Hospital Limited was the worst loser, losing 17.78%.

BEXIMCO topped the turnover list last week with its shares worth Tk 450.23 crore changing hands.

Bangladesh Shipping Corporation, Union Bank, Orion Pharma, LafargeHolcim Bangladesh, Bangladesh Building Systems, RAK Ceramics, Queen South Textile Mills, National Polymer Industries and Power Grid Company of Bangladesh were the other revenue leaders for the week.

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