The Dhaka stock market began the week with a big jolt. Stocks fell so fast in the morning that it wiped out over 100 points in just 13 minutes of trading.
DSEX, the benchmark index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange, shed 200 points or five percent after two hours and closed the day with a fall of 160 points.
But that could not save the market going below the 4,000-mark nearly after five years.
As a result, investors lost over Tk10,000 crore of their capital, making them helpless, and wait and see what the government does to tackle the situation.
"It seems the market is moving deeper into bear territory," said an analyst.
A merchant banker said he is concerned as the index has gone below the "psychological level" of 4,000 points.
Amid this troubled situation, individual investors met the DSE officials with a request to halt trading for two weeks that might help save their capital.
Other markets like in India and the US have recently faced temporary automated trading halts after hitting predetermined lows in indices and later were seen to have recovered a bit.
But such action is unlikely as there is no automatic circuit breaker on the stock indices right now, said exchange officials who instead are calling for investors' responsible participation in trading.
However, amid the free fall, market professionals, the central bank and the finance ministry are in a series of meetings to discuss possible ways to help the market.
In the second half of the trading session, the market formed an intraday base that helped indices recover some of the early hour losses at the end. Thanks to the bargain hunters who came up with some buy orders at the second half of trading session.
Finally DSEX lost 160 points or 3.89 percent to close at 3,969 – below the psychological threshold of 4,000-point mark for the first time since May 5, 2015.
The Bangladesh Merchant Bankers' Association had a meeting with the central bank after trading hour that discussed the updates on commercial banks' possible investment in the capital market under the special scheme of Tk200 crore for each bank.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal is going to sit with bank directors and top executives tomorrow. The banks will be pushed for building the Tk200 crore special fund that the Bangladesh Bank outlined in the second week of February.
At the DSE, losers sharply outnumbered the gainers as out of the 355 issues traded on Sunday, only 10 advanced, 338 declined, and seven remained unchanged.
The Shariah-based DSES index also dropped 31 points, or 3.3 percent, to settle at 926, while the blue-chip index DS30 gave up 48 points, or 3.5 percent, to stand at 1,333.
At the Chittagong Stock Exchange (CSE), the benchmark index Caspi lost 489 points, or 3.9 percent, to close at 12,154.
Coronavirus is increasing investors' fear because of an increased risk of global economic slowdown amid production and consumption slump and supply chain disruption and cost escalation.
All the sectors again posted losses on Sunday with the jute sector facing the highest price correction of 7.6 percent, and the travel sector registering the least correction of 1.3 percent in the sector return board.
Turnover at the DSE decreased 8.7 percent to Tk373.7 crore on Sunday, from Tk409.4 crore in the previous session.
On the other hand, turnover at the port city bourse went up 113 percent from Tk11.6 crore to Tk24.7 crore.