HA NOI (VNS) — Vietnamese shares were mixed yesterday while banks fell ahead of a decision by the US Federal Reserve whether to raise interest rates.
The VN Index on the HCM Stock Exchange fell 0.3 per cent to close at 562.48 points and the HNX Index on the Ha Noi Stock Exchange gained 0.7 per cent to finish at 77.22 points.
The Fed, which is the US central bank, will announce later Thursday its interest rate decision. Most analysts expect the Fed to raise its benchmark lending rate by 25 basis points, or 0.25 percentage points, up from 0 per cent.
Analysts said higher US interest rates could strengthen the dollar and put pressure on Vietnamese policymakers to depreciate the dong.
"In the short term, the Vietnamese dong will become weaker to the US dollar if the US central bank decides to raise the interest rate," brokerage VNDirect Securities said in a report.
It meant the stock market would likely suffer some declining sessions as it did after the State Bank of Viet Nam depreciated the dong against the dollar last month, the company said.
The local banking sector yesterday was down an average of 2.3 per cent from Wednesday.
Of nine listed banks on the Vietnamese stock market, six of them declined, including Vietcombank (VCB), Vietinbank (CTG) and the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BID), which are among the top ten stocks with the largest market capitalisations.
By the end of the day, VCB fell 0.9 per cent, CTG was down 2 per cent while BID dropped 6.8 per cent yesterday. BID has fallen the last two days after two investment funds – the US-based Market Vector VNM ETF and the Euro-based FTSE Vietnam ETF – announced they would remove BID from their indices in the last quarter of this year.
Besides the banks, other big companies that fell were Bao Viet Holdings (BVH) and Petrovietnam Power Nhon Trach 2 (NT2). These two shares dropped 0.7 per cent and 3.2 per cent.
On the opposite side, enegry firms rose despite a slightly lower global oil price. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude yesterday traded at US$47.09 a barrel, a decrease of 0.1 per cent from Wednesday.
Petrovietnam Gas Corp (GAS) gained 5.4 per cent, Petrovietnam Drilling & Well Services (PVD) was up 2.6 per cent and Petroleum Technical Services (PVS) rose 2 per cent.
In addition, GAS made such a large gain that the company decided to make the first dividend payment of VND1.9 trillion ($84.2 million) on October 23. In the first half of this year, GAS earned a total net profit of VND8.93 trillion ($397 million).
Two local bourses yesterday traded nearly 118 million shares for a trading value of VND1.77 trillion ($78.8 million), an increase of 17 per cent from Wednesday. — VNS