|Investors at the FPT’s exchange floor. The benchmark VN Index yesterday declined after advancing for five consecutive days. — VNS Photo Tröông Vò|
HÀ NỘI (VNS) — Vietnamese shares retreated on both local bourses yesterday as energy stocks declined on profit-taking and a slide in crude prices.
The benchmark VN Index on the HCM Stock Exchange dropped 0.3 per cent to close at 574.71 points, ending a rally of 3 per cent in the previous five days.
The HNX Index on the Hà Nội Stock Exchange fell 0.8 per cent to finish at 79.12 points. The northern index had risen 0.6 per cent during the previous two trading sessions.
Energy stocks started to fall as crude prices edged down on estimates that US stockpiles may grow and after Kuwait yesterday said it would only agree with other producers on a production freeze if all oil exporters take part in the action.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) yesterday lost 0.6 per cent to trade at US$37.67 a barrel and London-traded Brent crude dropped 0.4 per cent to trade at $40.69 a barrel.
WTI has surged nearly 40 per cent in the last two months and Brent crude had jumped nearly 18 per cent during the last two trading weeks on expectations that the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the world’s top exporters will reduce oil production to save prices.
Among local energy stocks, PetroVietnam Gas Corporation (GAS) fell 2.5 per cent, and PetroVietnam Drilling and Well Service Corporation (PVD) slipped 1.9 per cent. GAS had risen 18 per cent in the previous seven trading days.
Additionally, banks also helped pull down both markets after China yesterday announced its exports had the heaviest fall in February, raising concerns over a weaker Chinese yuan against the US dollar, which may put pressure on other currencies including the Vietnamese đồng.
The banking sector was led down by the Asia Commercial Bank (ACB), which slumped 4.1 per cent; Vietcombank (VCB), which dropped 0.5 per cent; the Bank for Investment and Development of Việt Nam (BID) and Vietinbank (CTG), which lost 0.6 per cent each; and Sacombank (STB), which slid 1 per cent.
On the positive side, steel makers such as Hoa Sen Group (HSG), Hoà Phát Group JSC (HPG), Việt Nam-Italy Steel JSC (VIS) and Tiến Lên Steel Group JSC (HTL) advanced after the Ministry of Industry and Trade on Monday issued a decision to temporarily protect local steel producers against cheap imported steel products.
At the end of yesterday’s session, HSG rose 2.9 per cent, HPG jumped 3.9 per cent, VIS surged 6.6 per cent and HTL advanced 5.7 per cent.
Both local markets traded more than 203 million shares worth VND3.2 trillion ($144.3 million), a slight increase from Monday’s trading value. — VNS