Investors keep track of stock movements (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Shares lost ground in last-minute trading on December 19 on the HCM Stock Exchange, driven by a slump of large-cap stocks.

The VN-Index inched down 0.12 percent to close at 674.33 points, after touching nearly 680 points in early morning trade and gaining 1.8 percent last week.

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index edged up 0.3 percent to end at 79.94 points. It gained 0.1 percent last week.

The overall market condition was positive, with 247 shares rising, 155 declining and 293 staying unchanged.

Liquidity waned as a total of 172 million shares worth 2.75 trillion VND (121 million USD) were traded in the two markets, down 18.3 percent in volume and 26.3 percent in value compared to Friday.

Declines of several large-cap stocks weighed on the VN-Index.

Brewery giant Sabeco (SAB) declined for the first time since its debut on December 6. Its shares lost 5.8 percent to settle at 212,000 VND per share. SAB shares rose rapidly from a debut price of 110,000 VND a share to 225,000 VND on December 16. They slipped because of profit-taking selling, with the trading volume rising nearly 37 percent over the last 10-day average to 168,200 shares.

Among losers, the biggest listed Vinamilk (VNM) decreased 0.8 percent; private equity Masan Group (MSN) fell 2.3 percent and steelmaker Hoa Phat Group (HPG) was down 0.7 percent. All are among the top 10 largest companies by market capitalisation and liquidity on the HCM Stock Exchange.

The market breadth was relatively positive as demand for shares was good, even at high price ranges that showed solid investor confidence, Tran Duc Anh, a stock analyst at Bao Viet Securities Co, wrote in the December 19 report.

“Investors’ concerns about the Fed’s hiking of interest rates or portfolio rearrangement of exchange-traded funds have passed, but the market will likely experience several correction sessions before founding a new price range,” Anh said.

Foreign investors continued to offload local shares but the net sell value was modest at just 9.3 billion VND in the two markets.-VNA