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Gloomy market greets new year

Update: January, 04/2012 - 09:49

HA NOI — Shares lost ground on both of the nation's stock exchanges on the first trading session of the new year, despite strong performances by global stocks.

On the HCM City Stock Exchange, the VN-Index closed off yesterday by 0.44 per cent to 350 points – with nearly half of all listed stocks losing value. The total value of trades plummeted by 60.4 per cent over the previous session, totaling just VND320.5 billion (US$15.2 million), while volume retreated by over 63 per cent to 20.6 million shares.

"The VN-Index is constantly undergoing alternately increasing and decreasing sessions – which indicates that investors have not yet established a clear attitude towards the market," said Kim Eng Securities Co analyst Vu Thi Thuy Hang.

The decline of the VN-Index yesterday was despite gains by some major blue chips, including insurer Bao Viet Holding (BVH), up 4.6 per cent; PetroVietnam Finance (PVF), up 2.8 per cent; Sacombank (STB), up 2.6 per cent; and Military Bank (MBB), up 0.9 per cent. With around 957,000 shares changing hands, STB was the most-active code on the southern bourse.

On the Ha Noi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index plunged by 3.3 per cent to 56.79 points, even as gainers outnumbered losers by 121-89. Market value reached VND117.7 billion ($5.55 million) on a volume of 14.7 million shares.

PetroVietnam Construction Co (PVX) was the most-active share nationwide, with 1.4 million traded. PVX concluded yesterday's session up 3 per cent to VND6,800 per share.

"Although there have been some positive changes in prices and technical indicator lines, the market trend remains declining," Hang said. Ending a tough year, the Vietnamese stock market lost $10 billion in value despite the increasing number of listed firms, she said.

Investors appeared to have shifted to gold, lifting domestic gold prices to their highest level in the past 10 days. Gold traders posted sell prices yesterday afternoon of around VND43.7 million ($2,080) per tael. (A tael is equivalent to 1.2 ounces.) — VNS

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