Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnamese shares on January 20 fell for a fifth day in the last six as global crude prices slid further, undermining energy stocks.

The benchmark VN Index on the HCM Stock Exchange dropped 1.2 percent to close at 529.44 points and the HNX Index on the Hanoi Stock Exchange lost 0.5 percent to end at 73.93 points.

Crude prices on January 20 fell to fresh twelve-year lows. US benchmark crude West Texas Intermediate (WTI) lost 2.5 percent to trade at 27.76 USD a barrel and London-traded Brent crude was down 1.5 percent to trade at 28.33 USD a barrel.

The energy sector index lost 2 percent, led by PetroVietnam Gas Corporation (GAS), which slumped 3.8 percent, PetroVietnam Technical Services Corporation (PVS), which declined by 2.2 percent, and PetroVietnam Drilling and Well Services Corporation (PVD), which dropped 5.4 percent.

Investor confidence was also hurt after Asian stocks fell on January 20, including a fall of 1.5 percent in Chinese stocks, as the country's December industrial output, investment and retail sales data released on January 19 were weaker than expected. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut its forecast for global economic growth this year due to the slowdown in emerging economies such as China.

Financial firms were caught up in the sell-off, including insurance companies and banks. The insurance sector index lost 1.4 percent and the banking sector dropped 1.3 percent on January 20.

Insurer Bao Viet Holdings (BVH) was down 1.7 percent, the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BID) fell 1.2 percent, and Vietinbank (CTG) slumped 2.9 percent.

Other stocks that also helped pull back the markets on January 20 included property developer Vingroup JSC (VIC), which inched down 0.2 percent, agricultural firm Hoang Anh Gia Lai JSC (HAG), which dropped 6.3 percent.

Both local exchanges traded more than 166 million shares worth 2.27 trillion VND (101 million USD), an increase of 12 percent from previous day's trading value.-VNA