Stocks inched higher Wednesday, after passing a volatile trading session, as late hour sale pressure eroded most of the early gains.
Brokers said the investors were active on both sides of the trading fence as cautious investors booked quick-profit on sector specific issues while bargain hunters took position, especially on power and cement issues, taking the market in flat green zone.
The market opened higher and the key index of the premier bourse crossing the 5,700-mark, gaining 28 points within first 12 minutes of trading, but could not sustained that level and eroded most the initial gains as the session progressed.
Ultimately, DSEX, the prime index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), finished at 5,684.31, advancing only 3.05 points or 0.05 per cent over the previous day.
LankaBangla Securities, a stockbroker, said, "Index spiked in the first instance of the trading session gaining almost 28 points at its peak level. Index then gradually kept falling until closing at 5,684.31-level".
The two other indices also edged higher. The DSE30 index, comprising blue chips, advanced 7.68 points or 0.37 per cent to settle at 2,051.33. The DSE Shariah Index (DSES) also gained 0.15 points or 0.01 per cent to close at 1,309.81.
Turnover, the important indicator of the market, stood at Tk 9.72 billion, which was 0.72 per cent higher than the previous day's value of Tk 9.65 billion.
The bank sector maintained its dominance in turnover, capturing 28.7 per cent of the day's total turnover value, followed by engineering 14 per cent and non-bank financial institutions 12 per cent.
International Leasing Securities, a stockbroker, said, "The risk-averse investor bagged quick-profit on sector-specific issues, especially during the latter part of the day's session, sending the market in flat zone".
The stockbroker noted that buyers' attention was attracted mostly by issues from cement, fuel and power and engineering sector while ceramic, IT and both life and general insurance sector witnessed selling offs.
MTB Capital, a merchant bank, said, "The market opened higher, mostly some of the declaration of banking sector ignited the investors, but could not sustain for an hour as sellers became active during the mid-session".
The port city bourse, the Chittagong Stock Exchange (CSE), also finished slightly higher with its Selective Categories Index - CSCX - advancing 11.71 points to finish at 10,687 points.
Losers beat gainers as 116 issues closed lower, 99 closed higher and 39 remained unchanged on the CSE.
The port city bourse traded 22.37 million shares and mutual fund units' worth Tk 576 million in turnover.