Investors at a transaction office of ACB Securities Company (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Shares closed almost flat on the two local exchanges on april 3 as strong investor selling hit large-cap stocks after the market reached a 10-year high last week.

The benchmark VN Index on the HCM Stock Exchange closed at 722.38 points, nearly unchanged from a closing level of 722.31 points on March 31.

The HNX Index on the Hanoi Stock Exchange inched up 0.1 percent to end at 92.92 points. The northern market index fell 0.3 percent.

Market trading liquidity remained positive compared to the previous session, with more than 226 million shares traded, worth 4.43 trillion VND (197.2 million USD).

Stocks that had pushed the market up in the previous weeks ended in negative territory, such as Vietcombank (VCB), Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BID), Vietinbank (CTG), Bao Viet Holdings (BVH) and Bao Minh Insurance Corp (BMI).

VCB fell 1.4 percent, BID lost 2.3 percent, CTG edged down 0.6 percent, BVH dropped 0.8 percent and BMI was down 0.4 percent.

Energy companies saw their share values decrease on pressure from profit-taking and volatile crude prices.

PetroVietnam Gas (GAS), PetroVietnam Drilling and Well Services (PVD) and PetroVietnam Technical Services (PVS) declined by between 0.5 percent and 1.7 percent to drive the energy sector down.

Meanwhile, foreign investors recorded a net buy value of 86.7 billion VND, a nearly 40 percent decrease from the March 31 figure of 143.85 billion VND.

On the positive side, there were good performances by some stocks that supported the market such as Sacombank (STB), brewer Sabeco (SAB), Asia Commercial Bank (ACB), Sai Gon Securities Inc (SSI) and HCM City Securities Corp (HCM).

STB surged 7 percent, hitting its daily trading limit, on speculations that property developer Nova Group has proposed the central bank to buy a 20 percent stake of Sacombank in an attempt to take part in the bank’s restructuring process.

SAB inched up 0.2 percent. Bloomberg on March 31 reported the Philippines’ largest brewer San Miguel may bid for ownership in Sabeco.

“The first trading session of April has extended the market’s downward trend from last week after the VN Index failed to achieve the level of 725 points,” BIDV Securities Corp (BSC) said in its report.

The market would move sideways in the next sessions with support from food and beverage firms, steel makers and construction companies, BSC said.-VNA