Traders at a trading platform of Saigon Securities Inc in Hanoi (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Shares edged down on both national stock exchanges on March 13 amid volatility caused by portfolio restructuring activity of exchange-traded funds, as well as possibility of an interest rate hike by the US federal reserve.

The benchmark on the HCM Stock Exchange dropped 0.3 percent to close at 710.2 points. The southern index fell 1.1 percent in the last three sessions.

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index dropped 1.3 percent to end at 87 points. The northern index gained 1.7 percent last week.

Blue chips were the main drag, as only ten stocks of the top 30 largest shares by market value and liquidity advanced, while 18 tumbled.

Big losers included banks and financial agencies, such as Vietcombank (VCB), Vietinbank (CTG), BIDV (BID) and Bao Viet Holdings (BVH), as well as private equity firm Masan Group (MSN).

Meanwhile, energy stocks, including PV Gas (GAS), PetroVietnam Drilling and Wells Service (PVD), PetroVietnam Technical Services (PVS) and PetroVietnam Drilling Mud (PVC) fell between 0.6-2 percent due to negative impacts of global oil prices.

On the bright side, property developer Novaland Investment Group (NVL) rose by the daily maximum 7 percent permitted on the HCM Stock Exchange to 72,700 VND (3.19 USD) a share thanks to active trade by foreign investors.

On Saturday, MVIS Vietnam under the VanEck Vectors Vietnam ETF (exchange traded fund) announced Novaland would be added into the basket of its ETF VNM despite falling short of its six-month trading time requirement. (Novaland shares started the first trading day on December 28, 2016.)

Meanwhile, shares of Tan Tao Investment Industry Corp (ITA) were eliminated from the basket. ITA prices sank 6 per cent to settle at 3,980 VND a share.

“The market is forecast to see a number of changes this week, concerning the portfolio review of ETFs and the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meeting’s results,” said Tran Duc Anh, a stock analyst at Bao Viet Securities Co.

Besides ETFs’ portfolio restructuring activity, investors are paying close attention to the US Fed’s meeting this week, in which market insiders expect a first rate hike this year. If this happens, the market could see negative movements on fears of foreign investment moving out of the local market.

Liquidity remained high with nearly 191 million shares worth a combined 4 trillion VND (175.4 million USD) traded in the two markets.-VNA