Stock market indices plummeted in the last hour of trading after advancing throughout the mid-session, as investors rushed to book profits from stocks that were rising sharply.
DSEX, the broad-based index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) crossing its 17-week high on Monday, jump started Tuesday's trading session as a number of large and mid-cap stocks soared high.
A gradually building buying spree kept pushing the index higher up to 6,776, an hour ahead of the session closing.
Many stocks, especially those rallying in recent days, had no sellers at the intraday market peak.
But then some big investors, including institutional and individual ones, opted to book profits, wiping out all the intraday gains in the last hour.
Finally, the DSEX closed 0.06% lower at 6,596, only 4.22 points less than the previous close.
Stockbrokers said amid discomfort in core businesses, many high net worth individuals were pouring fresh funds into stocks for some capital gains, and that helped the market rally.
Institutional investors, ahead of their July-September quarter closing, were booking some profits which also added to selling pressure at the eleventh hour of trading on Tuesday.
Brokerage firm EBL Securities wrote in its daily market commentary, "Despite a staggering start, the rallying market hit a clutch by the end of the session due to sell-offs across the bourse, since the overheated market prompted investors to liquidate their positions in recently outperforming stocks."
"Considering the recent adversities on the macroeconomic front, investors preferred to take a cautious stance, with apprehension about gloomy earnings forecasts of major companies," the commentary added.
Meanwhile, the Dhaka bourse saw a notable increase in participation and the total turnover surged 42.3% to Tk2,832 crore - the highest since 7 September last year - compared to the previous trading session.
The DSE registered over Tk2,800 crore in daily turnover for the fifteenth time in its history.
On the sectoral front, pharmaceuticals and chemicals, miscellaneous, and engineering, made over half of the turnover in the DSE.
Paper and printing, cement, and financial institutions led the gaining sectors with 2.8%, 2.5%, and 0.9% gains in that order.
Services and real estate, IT, and ceramics, on the other hand suffered the highest corrections.
As turnover was mostly concentrated in some large and mid-cap stocks, only 72 advancing scrips managed to offset the decline of 156 on the DSE trading floor.
The broad-based indices of CSCX and CASPI on the Chittagong Stock Exchange closed 0.3% higher, while turnover dropped to less than Tk50 crore, which had gone to above Tk93 crore on Monday.