Stocks fall as second-wave fear grips investors
Stocks nosedived more than 3 per cent in the last two trading sessions as investors became worried following the sudden surge in Covid-19 infections and death tolls.
The DSEX, the benchmark index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), dropped 84 points, or 1.56 per cent, to end the day at 5,349 yesterday. This means, the index shed 166.62 points, or 3.04 per cent in the last two sessions.
Investors fear that the rise in infections might take a toll on the business in the country for the second time in the last one year, said a stock broker.
"Investors are cautious in buying stocks."
There is even an apprehension among the investors that the market might be closed, like the government did nearly a year ago, to limit the spread of the rogue virus.
However, the regulator said that such a decision had not been taken yet, and the trading would continue if banks remained open.
As most of the listed companies were hard hit in the initial weeks of the lockdown in Bangladesh before restrictions were eased in June, investors are nervous, the broker said.
"If the situation worsens, the market would be impacted again," he added.
Twenty-two people died of Covid-19 infections across the country in the last 24 hours, according to the Directorate General of Health Services. At least 2,172 people were infected.
"As the number of cases is rising, people are edgy," said Sohel Rana, a stock investor.
In many countries, the second wave of Covid-19 impacted businesses and the stock market seriously, he said.
"As many people across the country don't maintain health protocols, the lax attitude might be more dangerous for us. So, investors are selling," Rana said.
A top official of an asset management company said, however, the business of the listed companies would not be impacted as people of Bangladesh did not seem to bother much about the virus.
Some speculators are using the situation, causing the market to fall so that they can buy shares at a lucrative price, he said.
"I don't believe that the market is falling for Covid-19. Investors need to be cautious and hold the shares of well-performing companies."
Turnover, an important indicator of the market, fell 10 per cent to Tk 615 crore yesterday at the DSE.
Janata Insurance topped the gainers' list as it rose 9.67 per cent, followed by Republic Insurance, ICB Islamic Bank, Asia Pacific Insurance, and Paramount Insurance.
Beximco Ltd was the most-traded stock, with its shares worth Tk 84 crore changing hands, followed by Robi, Beximco Pharmaceuticals, LankaBangla Finance, and LafargeHolcim.
Anlima Yarn took gave up the most as it fell 10 per cent, followed by Aziz Pipes, Beacon Pharmaceuticals, Emerald Oil, and Savar Refractories.
The port city bourse also dropped yesterday. The CSCX, the general index of the Chittagong Stock Exchange, fell 157 points, or 1.66 per cent, to close at 9,342.
At the CSE, 17 issues rose, 166 fell and 48 remained unchanged.