Illustrative image (Source: danviet.vn)
 
Hanoi (VNA) - Shares declined slightly on both local exchanges on January 12 as bank and steel stocks lost rising momentum and foreign investors recorded the highest net sell value since the beginning of 2017.

The benchmark VN Index on the HCM Stock Exchange closed at 686.96 points, nearly flat compared to the previous day’s closing level of 687.16 points.

The HNX Index on the Hanoi Stock Exchange inched down 0.2 percent to end at 83.29 points. The northern market index retreated after rising a total of 2.7 percent in four consecutive sessions.

Market trading liquidity was modest. Nearly 136.9 million shares were exchanged by investors, worth 2.32 trillion VND (103.2 million USD).

Bank stocks were on the defensive side yesterday as they were hit by profit-taking. According to BIDV Securities Corp (BSC), bank stocks were the key factor that prevented the VN Index from reaching the testing level of 690 points.

Of the nine listed banks, Vietcombank (VCB) dropped 1.4 percent, Vietinbank (CTG) and Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BID) shed 0.6 percent each, while Asia Commercial Bank (ACB), Saigon-Hanoi Bank (SHB) and Eximbank (EIB) ended flat.

Steel producers, including Hoa Phat Group (HPG), Hoa Sen Group (HSG) and Tien Len Steel Joint Stock Company (TLH) also decreased following gains made in the previous two days.

HPG slid 0.8 percent, HSG and TLH slipped 1.2 percent each. Those stocks gained a total 2 percent, 2.2 percent and 2.8 percent during the January 10 and 11 trading sessions.

In addition, foreign investors recorded the highest net sell value since the beginning of this year and that was also a factor driving down domestic investor sentiment.

Foreign net sell value yesterday was around 189.7 billion VND with a focus on offloading stakes in HPG, HSG and VCB. On January 11, foreign investors bought a net value of 44 billion VND.

On the opposite side, brewer Sabeco (SAB), Faros Construction Corporation (ROS) and energy stocks were the ones that helped balance the market trading.

SAB rose 0.3 percent to total a 3 percent increase after two sessions, while ROS added 0.7 percent to extend its rally to 23 consecutive days since December 12 with a total gain of 20 percent.

The energy sector achieved a slight increase, driven by PetroVietnam Gas Corp (GAS), PetroVietnam Coating Corp (PVB) and PetroVietnam Drilling and Well Services Corp (PVD) after oil prices advanced for a second day on global markets.-VNA