|Investors track their stocks in Maybank KIM ENG floor in HCM CIty. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hai
HA NOI (VNS) — Vietnamese shares rose on both local exchanges amid low trading volume, led by the financial sector on expectations that US central bank will not raise interest rates at its March meeting.
The benchmark VN Index on the HCM Stock Exchange was up 0.6 per cent to close at 542.15 points. The southern index has gained 1.1 per cent in the last two days.
The HNX Index on the Ha Noi Stock Exchange increased 0.7 per cent to end at 76.32 points, rebounding from a three-day decline of 1.4 per cent.
Local stock markets were boosted by a raise in US stocks on Wednesday as investors expected the US central bank will not likely hike its rates in March given that the economy showed signs of slowing in January.
Meanwhile, Viet Nam's central bank cut the reference mid-point rate for its exchange trading band by VND21 to VND21,876 for a US dollar with a limit of 3 per cent on either sides for local banks to decide their trading rates.
Insurance companies, banks and brokerage firms helped boost the markets. Insurer Bao Viet Holdings (BVH) gained 0.8 per cent, Vietcombank (VCB) and Saigon Securities Incorporate (SSI) leapt 1 per cent each, and Vietinbank (CTG) rose 1.2 per cent.
Local energy stocks continued to benefit from an increase of global crude prices as analysts were expecting a successful agreement between the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC crude producers to cut their production and boosting the prices.
US benchmark crude West Texas Intermediate (WTI) yesterday added 0.8 per cent to trade at $32.55 a barrel, extending its gain to 8.9 per cent in two days.
London-traded Brent crude inched up 0.1 per cent to trade at $35.06 a barrel. It has jumped 7.2 per cent in two sessions.
The local energy sector index rose 1.4 per cent, led by PetroVietnam Drilling and Well Services Corporation (PVD), PetroVietnam Technical Services Corporation (PVS) and PetroVietnam Mud Drilling Corporation (PVC), which rose 2.3 per cent, 2.2 per cent and 3.9 per cent, respectively.
Market liquidity fell sharply from Wednesday as investors were not likely to make many further investments in the stock markets this week ahead of the Tet holiday. Both markets traded about 89 million shares worth VND1.26 trillion ($56.3 million), a decrease of 24 per cent from Wednesday's value. — VNS