A trading session at Bao Viet Securities Corp. (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnamese shares struggled to stay in positive territory on May 25 as the energy sector benefited from a recent recovery in global oil prices.

Local market indices were almost flat. The benchmark VN Index on the HCM Stock Exchange ended at 611.89 points, extending slight gains for a second day, and the HNX Index on the Hanoi Stock Exchange rebounded to close at 81.27 points.

Local energy firms were the centre of attention on May 25 as they received a strong boost from continuous gains in global prices over the last three days.

US crude West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and London-traded Brent crude gained 1 percent each to trade at above 49 USD a barrel.

US crude has increased by 2.8 percent in the last three sessions and Brent crude has added 1.5 percent in the last two trading days.

Energy stocks rose between 1.1 percent and 1.8 percent, including PetroVietnam Gas Corp (GAS), PetroVietnam Technical Service Corp (PVS), PetroVietnam Mud Drilling Corp (PVC) and PetroVietnam Drilling and Well Service Corp (PVD).

Additionally, a growth of 0.9 percent to 156.5 yen per kilo in rubber prices on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange also helped rubber producers like Da Nang Rubber JSC (DRC), Sao Vang Rubber JSC (SRC), the Southern Rubber Industry JSC (CSM), Hoa Binh Rubber JSC (HRC) and Dong Phu Rubber JSC (DPR) increase.

These stocks advanced between 0.3 percent and 2.6 percent on May 25.

On the contrary, local markets lacked support from the banking sector as the industry was mixed and leading banks either had slight gains or remained flat.

Vietcombank (VCB) inched up 0.2 percent while Vietinbank (CTG), the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BID) and Saigon-Hanoi Bank (SHB) were unchanged.

On the other side, Asia Commercial Bank (ACB), Military Bank (MBB) and Sacombank (STB) declined between 0.5 percent and 2.6 percent.

Banks might have suffered from investors’ cautiousness over a weaker Vietnamese dong after the Chinese yuan slumped to its lowest level against the US dollar since March 2011 amid fears that the US central bank will increase interest rates in June. Such expectations have boosted the dollar in recent trading days.

On May 25, Vietnam’s central bank raised its daily reference mid-point rate by 11 VND to 21,921 VND for a dollar.

Both local markets traded more than 192 million shares worth 2.8 trillion VND (124 million USD), an increase of 9 percent from previous day’s trading value.-VNA