An investor watches trading at a Saigon Securities Inc trading floor in Hanoi (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnamese shares on January 11 declined for a third session on both local markets as investors were rocked by another sharp fall of Chinese stocks.

The benchmark VN Index on the HCM Stock Exchange and the HNX Index on the Hanoi Stock Exchange each dropped 0.4 percent to finish at 557.87 points and 76.10 points, respectively.

The southern index has fallen 2.9 percent and the northern index has lost 3.3 percent over the last three sessions.

Investors fears were heightened after Chinese stocks slumped again on January 11, with China's Shanghai and Shenzhen stock markets dropping 5.3 percent and 6.6 percent, respectively. Shenzhen's market has fallen 18 percent since the end of last year.

Both local and foreign investors in Vietnam sought to sell stocks on expectations that Chinese stocks will likely extend losses this week, further undermining investor confidence, Saigon - Hanoi Securities Corporation (SHS) wrote in a report.

Large-cap stocks led decliners, with dairy company Vinamilk (VNM) down 0.8 percent and food and beverage producer Masan Group (MSN) slipping 0.7 percent.

Meanwhile, Vietnam's central bank on January 11 slightly raised the reference point for its exchange rate trading band by 2 dong to 21,911 VND a dollar.

Expectations that the central bank will slowly allow the Vietnamese dong to depreciate this year hurt the insurance sector, whose index lost 2 percent, led by Bao Viet Holdings (BVH), which fell 2.9 percent.

The banking sector index lost 0.3 percent, led by Vietcombank (VCB), which was down 0.7 percent and Sacombank (STB), which dropped 2.4 percent.

Local energy stocks fell further after US benchmark crude West Texas Intermediate (WTI) set a fresh 12-year low on January 11, dropping 2.1 percent to trade at 32.48 USD a barrel.

Energy stocks that suffered from a lower crude price included PetroVietnam Drilling and Well Services Corporation (PVD), which declined by 0.4 percent, and PetroVietnam Mud Drilling Corporation (PVC), which slumped by 5.5 percent.

Both local markets traded nearly 138 million shares worth 1.84 trillion VND (82 million USD), a decrease of nearly one-fifth from last week's daily average trading value.-VNA