|Traders at VNDirect Securities Company's trading floor. The benchmark VN Index fell for a third day as energy stocks were hurt by lower crude prices. — VNS Photo Viet Thanh
HA NOI (VNS) — Vietnamese shares extended losses for a third day yesterday as global crude prices fell to fresh twelve-year lows, hurting energy stocks.
The benchmark VN Index on the HCM Stock Exchange dropped 1.8 per cent to close at 543.04 points. The southern index has dropped 3.8 per cent in the last three days.
The northern HNX Index on the Ha Noi Stock Exchange fell 0.4 per cent to finish at 75.39 points, extending a two-day loss to 1.7 per cent.
The energy sector index dropped 0.8 per cent after crude prices set new twelve-year lows yesterday. US benchmark crude West Texas Intermediate (WTI) lost 5.1 per cent to trade at US$29.70 a barrel, while the London-traded Brent crude fell 4 per cent to trade at $29.71 a barrel.
Local energy stocks fell, including PetroVietnam Gas Corporation (GAS), which inched down 0.3 per cent, PetroVietnam Drilling and Well Services Corporation (PVD), which fell 1.3 per cent, and fuel dealer Petrolimex Gas Corporation (PGC), which was down 1.9 per cent.
Investor confidence was also undermined by further losses in Asian stocks following data showing a decrease in Chinese bank lending in December.
As a result, investors put heavy selling pressure on large-cap stocks, including dairy firm Vinamilk (VNM), which was down 0.8 per cent, food and beverage producer Masan Group (MSN), which slumped 5.4 per cent, and property developer Vingroup JSC (VIC), which fell 1 per cent.
Financial firms also helped pull the market down. Insurer Bao Viet Holdings (BVH) slid 3.5 per cent, Vietcombank (VCB) slipped 2.9 per cent, and the Bank for Investment and Development of Viet Nam (BID) declined by 3.8 per cent.
Yesterday, Viet Nam's central bank raised the reference mid-point rate for its exchange trading band by VND10 to VND21,917 per dollar. However, local banks traded the dollar at lower rate than Thursday. For instance, Vietcombank traded the dollar at VND22,460, a decrease of VND20.
The stock market traded nearly 172 million shares worth VND2.2 trillion ($98.4 million), a decrease of 19 per cent from Thursday and lower than last year's average daily trading value of $111 million. — VNS