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East Sea tension weighs on national stock indices

Update: May, 12/2014 - 08:22
The VN-Index on the HCM City Stock Exchange dropped 6.14 per cent over the previous week, to end at 542.46 points, while the HNX-Index on the northern bourse closed 7.13 per cent lower at 74.19 points.— File Photo

HA NOI (VNS) — Shares closed lower last week on both national stock exchanges as the market witnessed the largest-ever retreat on Thursday over fears of ongoing-East Sea tensions.

However, the appearance bottom-fishing capital inflow, along with net purchases, by foreign investors during the markets' declines, proved to be last week' highlights.

The VN-Index on the HCM City Stock Exchange dropped 6.14 per cent over the previous week, to end at 542.46 points, while the HNX-Index on the northern bourse closed 7.13 per cent lower at 74.19 points.

Trading was seen as having improved over the previous week, which ended on April 29, but sell-offs occurred on most trading days.

After a five-day holiday to celebrate Viet Nam's Southern Liberation Day and Labour Day, the market resumed with losses on the two first trading days of the week, as sell-offs occurred on large-cap stocks such as Masan Group (MSN), Vinamilk (VNM), and Vingroup (VIC).

On Wednesday, thanks to bottom-fishing activities, shares managed to advance, but the gain was mainly registered by blue chips, while speculative capital remained hesitant.

Most notably, shares were ravaged on Thursday as the market received news about East Sea tension, when China violated Viet Nam's sovereignty and jurisdiction with the placing of a Chinese oil rig on Viet Nam continental shelf.

Investors were in a panic selling mode, sending the benchmark indices to post their largest-ever loss of 32.88 points, or 5.87 per cent on HCM City, and 4.9 points, or 6.4 per cent, on the Ha Noi Exchange.

On both bourses, 512 codes closed Thursday in the red, 333 of which declined to their floor prices.

An estimated of VND65 trillion (US$3.1 billion) in capitalisation, equivalent to 1.8 per cent of the nation's GDP in 2013, was reported to have evaporated on Thursday.

Analysts blamed Thurday's sell-offs on a herd mentality, saying investors were over-reacting.

However, the market soon advanced on Friday, earning back about half of Thursday's loss, thanks to the participation of bottom-fishing capital, especially the net purchases of foreign investors and large institutional investors, coupled with the State Securities Commission's effort to calm the market.

On HCM City Stock Exchange, an average 98.9 million shares were traded, worth some VND1.68 trillion ($80 million), which was 82 per cent and 54 per cent higher than the previous week.

The trading volume and value on the capital city's stock exchanges also increased by 100 per cent and 83 per cent, respectively, to reach 68 million shares and VND632 billion ($30 million).

Foreign investors purchased a net of VND521 billion ($24.8 million) shares last week, mainly on the two final trading days of the week, taking advantage of the market retreat to buy shares. The foreign investors' confidence helped ease the panic among local investors. — VNS

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