Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Vietnam's benchmark stock index fell for a third day on September 4 as volatile global oil prices undermined the country's energy firms.

On the HCM Stock Exchange, the benchmark VN Index fell 1.4 percent to finish at 554.3 points, its third consecutive loss. Meanwhile, the HNX Index on the Hanoi Stock Exchange closed at 76.58 points, a decline of 0.6 percent.

Stocks were led lower by the energy sector, which fell 2.6 percent. Petrovietnam Gas Corp (GAS), the market's third-largest stock with a capitalisation of 86.6 trillion VND (3.8 billion USD), dropped 4 percent.

Petrovietnam Drilling & Well Service (PVD) and Petrovietnam Coating Co (PVB) were down 2.5 and 4.2 percent, respectively.

Brokerage Saigon-Hanoi Securities said that the global oil prices would remain unstable in short term and would likely not improve sharply in middle and long term.

Crude benchmark West Texas Intermediate has fallen about 6 percent this week to 46.20 USD a barrel after a surge of almost 30 percent during previous weeks.

Investor sentiment was also hurt by a new law regarding foreign ownership of Vietnamese companies. Some investors say the new rules are not clear enough.

Vietnam Dairy Products Co (VNM), Vingroup Corp (VIC), Ma San Group (MSN) and Bao Viet Holdings (BVH) were down 0.5 percent, 1.0 percent, 1.3 percent and 4.4 percent, respectively.

Daily trading on the two local bourses reached more than 144.6 million shares in volume and nearly 2.2 trillion VND (97 million USD) in value on September 4.

HAI Agrochem Co (HAI) and Kim Vi Inox Import-Export Production (KVC) were the most active shares on the two bourses with more than 5.5 million and three million shares traded.-VNA