HA NOI (VNS)— Stocks on the HCM City Stock Exchange posted modest gains over the course of last week but declined in Ha Noi despite a strong performance on Friday driven in part by the positive response of world markets to the announcement of a new round of US stimulus measures.
|Investors track stock prices at a Ha Noi-based office of Saigon Securities Inc. — VNS Photo Viet Thanh
The US Federal Reserve said last week that it would pump US$40 billion into the economy each month through a bond-buying progamme already being referred to as QE3 (the bank's third round of quantitative easing).
On Friday afternoon in HCM City, the VN-Index closed at 398.87 points, an increase of 0.35 per cent over the previous week's close. Stronger trading on Friday also helped push up the overall volume of trades last week by 19 per cent ot over 40 million shares per day, worth an average daily value of VND610.8 billion ($29 million).
Sell pressures also declined after the ministries of Finance and Industry and Trade decided to cut the import tax on fuel by 2 percentage points in order to hold petrol prices steady.
Nevertheless, investors remained cautious. Only nine out of 24 sectors posted gains, led by hospitality and entertainment stocks, which rose by an average of 4.25 per cent, and insurance stocks, which saw an average increase of 3.43 per cent, largely driven by a spike in the price of market leaders Bao Viet Holdings (BVH), which reached its ceiling price three days in a row.
On the Ha Noi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index lost 1.92 per cent from the prior week despite rising strongly in the last two sessions of the week. It closed on Friday at 59.23 points.
The volume of trades improved by 11 per cent over the previous week but continued to be modest, averaging 28.8 million shares, worth a daily average of only VND210 billion ($10 million).
Foreign investors continued to put funds into the domestic market last week, picking up shares worth a net of VND133 billion ($6.3 million) on both exchanges.
While analysts expected that buoyant global markets would be able to keep the market in positive territory early this week, Saigon Securities Inc (SSI) analysts predicted that the performance of most listed enterprises would not be improving anytime soon this year, with credit growth still stagnant and a number of recent, high profile violations of securities laws likely to erode investor confidence in the domestic market.
Accordingly, domestic gold prices climbed to a one-year high last week, reaching VND47.4 million ($2,270) per tael. (One tael is equivalent to 1.2 ounces.) — VNS