Investors at the trading centre of Sai Gon Securities office in Hanoi. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The VN-Index declined for the first time in six weeks due to heavy profit-taking pressure, but analysts expect a rebound this week following the release of the second-quarter business earnings.

The benchmark index of the HCM Stock Exchange inched down 0.1 percent after five sessions, closing on July 7 at 775.73 points.

Popular large-cap stocks that were the market engine early last week, like PV Gas (GAS), Vietinbank (CTG), Vietcombank (VCB), BIDV (BID), Hoa Phat Group (HPG), Sabeco (SAB) and Bao Viet Holdings (BVH), all slumped towards the end of the week due to rising selling pressure.

The selling peaked after the VN-Index hit nearly 783 points in the weekend session, the highest since early 2008, and pulled the market down.

Since the beginning of this year, Vietnam’s key stock index has gained about 17 percent to become the top performer in the region, surpassing Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia, which have received big support from foreign capital.

“Though the unexpected decline in the weekend session slowed down the VN-Index growth, the market condition was not negative and investors’ sentiment remained stable around 770 points,” analysts at BIDV Securities Co wrote in a weekly report.

An average of 229 million shares worth almost 4 trillion VND (176.2 million USD) were traded per session on the HCM City’s exchange, up 6 percent in volume and 1 percent in value compared to the previous week.

The stock indices are likely to rise again as investors bet on second-quarter earnings reports that will start coming out this week, as well as new growth-boosting policies of the Government, analysts have said.

Meanwhile, money is flowing into penny and medium-small caps. Many shares of these groups hit the maximum daily rise for several consecutive days and were among the most heavily-traded stocks.

These included Tan Tao Investment and Industry (ITA), Hoang Quan Consulting-Trading-Serive Real Estate (HQC), Ocean Group (OGC), An Duong Thao Dien Real Estate (HAR) and HAI Agrochem (HAI).

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the hub of small- and medium-cap stocks, the HNX-Index expanded 2.5 percent for the week, ending on July 7 at 101.58 points.

Liquidity increased with an average of 81 million shares worth 785.4 billion VND traded a session, up 63.7 percent in volume and 30.3 percent in value compared with the previous week.

On July 7, the State Bank of Vietnam issued Decision No 1424 and 1425, effective July 10, which reduces the discount rate and refinancing rate by 0.25 percent and lowers the ceiling interest rate on short-term loans by 0.5 percent for priority sectors.

This is the first time since 2014 the central bank made this move to support the Government’s growth targets.

“In the context of increasing liquidity of the banking system… this policy will continue backing liquidity of commercial banks as well as the stock market,” BIDV Securities Co. analysts said.

Vietnam reported positive economic data in the first half of this year with the GDP growth reaching 5.73 percent, higher than 2012-2014 and 2016 figures. Export and import values were up 18.9 percent and 24.1 percent year-on-year, respectively; and inflation was at below 5 percent for a second year.

Analysts said the country’s stable economic growth was a solid foundation for attracting attract foreign capital, with an influx of 9.2 trillion VND (409 million USD) recorded in the year’s first half.-VNA