A trading session at the Hanoi Stock Exchange (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnamese shares struggled to extend gains on September 20 on late buying in large-cap stocks during the near-end period of the session.

The benchmark VN Index on the HCM Stock Exchange rose 0.8 percent to close at 663.37 points, making a two-day increase of 1.8 percent.

The HNX Index on the smaller Hanoi Stock Exchange edged up 0.2 percent to end at 82.90 points, up 0.7 percent after the last two sessions.

“Late buying from domestic investors and the decrease of foreign selling were the major factors that helped boost the market,” BIDV Securities Co (BSC) wrote in its daily report.

“Investor sentiment also improved after the exchange-traded funds (ETFs) completed re-arranging their investment portfolios last week.”

“Those factors helped bolster investor confidence in large-cap stocks and directly drove the market up,” BSC said.

Better investor confidence helped lift five of the 10 largest stocks by market capitalisation, including Vietcombank (VCB), the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BID), PetroVietnam Gas Corp (GAS), property and retail firm Vingroup JSC (VIC) and consumer goods producer Masan Group (MSN).

VCB rose 2.2 percent, BID was up 1.3 percent, GAS and MSN jumped 3.1 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively, and VIC edged up 0.7 percent.

Other blue chips such as dairy firm Vinamilk (VNM) were also boosted after falling 2.2 percent to near the lowest trading value of the day at 133,000 VND per share. VNM closed flat on September 20 .

Foreign investors remained as net sellers for a 15th day, recording a net sell value of 57.37 billion VND (2.57 million USD ) on the two local exchanges on September 20, nearly five-fold the value made on September 19. However, this was much lower than last week’s daily average net foreign sell value of nearly 400 billion VND.

The Vietnamese central bank on September 20 cut its daily reference mid-point rate for currency trading between the do ng and the USD by 6 VND to 21,953 VND for one US dollar. The reference mid-point rate has been on an upward trend for the last six weeks, hitting the highest value of 21,959 VND on September 19 .

“Investors should keep watching the changes of the reference mid-point rate closely as the US central bank may increase its interest rate in September – the first rate hike this year – and Vietnam may have to deal with a trade deficit during the year-end,” Bao Viet Securities Co said in a note.

Better investor sentiment also resulted in a rise in market trading liquidity. More than 160 million shares were exchanged on September 20 worth 3.54 trillion VND, an increase of 22.7 percent from previous day’s trading value.-VNA