VN Index hits new record high

Friday, Mar 23, 2018 07:58

Staff at Ha Noi Stock Exchange. — VNS Photo Truong Vi

Viet Nam’s benchmark VN Index marginally surpassed the record high of 1,170 points on Thursday as energy stocks remained upbeat and insurers and agriculture firms performed strongly as well.

The VN Index on the HCM Stock Exchange edged up 0.26 per cent to end at 1,172.36 points, posting a nine-day increase of 4.3 per cent in total.

The benchmark index narrowed its growth from the intraday gaining pace of 0.94 per cent, which helped the VN Index rise to the 1,180-point level.

More than 233.3 million shares were traded on the southern bourse, worth VND6.63 trillion (US$294.7 million).

However, the trading condition was quite negative as declining stocks outnumbered gainers by 172 to 116 and 56 others ended flat.

Rising oil prices and growing energy stocks remained the most important factors that boosted the benchmark index over its former all-time high of 1,170 points.

Though Brent crude returned to the negative territory on Thursday, down 0.5 per cent, it has gained a total of 4.6 per cent in the last three days.

The slight decrease of oil prices on Thursday was attributed to an increase in US oil output, which threatened to undermine efforts to tighten the market.

Recent gains in oil prices were caused by a surprise decline of US crude inventories and the ongoing supply cut led by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Energy stocks on the HCM Stock Exchange continued to outperform. PetroVietnam Gas (GAS) surged 5.2 per cent and PetroVietnam Drilling and Well Services (PVD) was up 2.5 per cent.

Following the energy sector were the insurance, agriculture and IT industries, led by insurer Bao Viet Holdings (BVH), Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAG) and its agricultural arm HAGL Agrico (HNG).

On the opposite side, the benchmark index suffered strong investor selling when it touched the intraday peak of 1,180 points.

Profit-taking hit securities firms, banks, healthcare and pharmaceutical firms, retailers and rubber producers.

The worst decliners among those stocks were HDBank (HDB), Vietcombank (VCB), BIDV Securities Co (BSI), VNDirect Securities (VND), DHG Pharmaceutical JSC (DHG), Domesco Medical Import-Export JSC (DMC) and digital retailer Mobile World (MWG).

“Investor sentiment remained upbeat though US stocks fell slightly after the US central bank decided to raise interest rates by 0.25 percentage points on Wednesday,” Sai Gon-Ha Noi Securities Co (SHS) said in its daily report.

However, the growth of the benchmark index on Thursday was quite unstable due to the mixed performance of local stocks and the rise of day-end profit-taking, it said.

Thus, “the market needs some more time to settle at the new high level to help strengthen its future growth,” SHS said.

The VN Index is forecast to encounter strong profit-taking pressure from investors as it has now reached a new peak and the index may move within the range of 1,170-1,180 points, it said.

The minor HNX Index on the Ha Noi Stock Exchange went down 0.68 per cent to close at 134.04 points, totalling a two-day decline of 0.9 per cent.

The UPCOM Index on the Unlisted Public Company Market (UPCoM) fell 0.41 per cent to 60.39 points. It has lost a total of 2.3 per cent in the last four sessions. — VNS

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