HA NOI — Stocks continued rising on the HCM City Stock Exchange yesterday but slid again on the Ha Noi exchange as investors continued to hold onto cash in the lead-up to the Tet (lunar new year) holiday.
In HCM City, the VN-Index gained 0.2 per cent to close at 348.11 points. The volume of trades dropped by 16 per cent from Wednesday's level to just 24.4 million shares, worth just under VND367 billion (US$17.5 million).
"Yesterday's rally continued to be driven by the gains of heavyweight stocks like Bao Viet Holdings (BVH), Vietinbank (CTG) and Masan Group (MSN)," an FPT Securities Co analyst wrote on the firm's website. "Investor caution has returned, sending many stocks into negative territory."
Three of the 10 leading shares by capitalisation hit their ceiling prices, including BVH, CTG and steelmaker Hoa Phat Group (HPG). MSN also closed up 2.8 per cent. These shares helped rescue the VN-Index from a fall, even as losers outnumbered gainers overall on the HCM City bourse by a margin of 132-82.
Sacombank (STB) continued to be the most-active share on the southern bourse, with 4.4 million traded. STB closed down 1.1 per cent to VND17,700 per share.
On the Ha Noi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index declined by another 0.13 per cent to finish yesterday at 55.81. Volume decreased by 30 per cent to under 16.6 million shares, while the value of trades dropped 19 per cent to VND163.9 billion ($7.8 million).
Decliners edged advancers by a margin 149-56, with nearly half of all decliners hitting the floor.
Kim Long Securities (KLS) and VNDirect Securities (VND), with over 1.5 million shares traded each, were again the most-active shares in Ha Noi. VND lost 6.2 per cent to close at VND6,100, while KLS finished 2.5 per cent lower at VND7,700 per share.
Foreign investors continued yesterday as net buyers on both markets, picking up more than VND42.4 billion ($2 million) worth of shares.
Despite the gloomy market, State Bank of Viet Nam Governor Nguyen Van Binh predicted capital flows would return to the market this year as current policies discouraged investments in foreign currencies, gold and real estate.
But he also denied the possibility of lower interest rates for the time being. "In addition to inflation, reducing interest rates depends on many factors including ensuring the liquidity of the banking system," Binh said. — VNS