Investors at the SSI stock exchange floor in Hanoi. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnamese shares on January 7 pulled back sharply from gains on January 6 on both local bourses as energy stocks were hurt by oil prices hitting new 11-year lows.

The benchmark VN Index on the HCM Stock Exchange fell 1.6 percent to close at 565.36 points and the HNX Index on the Hanoi Stock Exchange dropped 2 percent to finish at 77.15 points.

The US benchmark crude West Texas Intermediate (WTI) yesterday lost 2.4 percent to trade at a new eleven-year-low of 33.17 USD a barrel. The WTI crude price has fallen nearly 10 percent in the past three days.

The fall of global oil prices was caused by a slowdown of the Chinese economy, the dispute between Iran and Saudi Arabia, who are the two biggest crude exporters in the world, and a stronger US dollar in global markets.

The energy sector index suffered from the sharp fall of WTI crude and retreated by 4.3 percent, led by PetroVietnam Gas Corporation (GAS), which dropped 5 percent, PetroVietnam Drilling and Well Services Corporation (PVD), which slumped by 6.9 percent, and gas dealer Petrolimex Gas Corporation (PGC), which was down 0.9 percent.

Large-cap stocks continued to be sold strongly during the session. Dairy firm Vinamilk (VNM) lost 1.6 percent, while insurer Bao Viet Holdings (BVH) and brokerage company Sai Gon Securities Incorporate (SSI) each fell 2.8 percent.

A weaker Vietnamese dong also weighed on banks after Vietnam's central bank raised the reference point for its exchange trading band by 12 VND to trade 21,919 VND for a US dollar.

The banking sector index lost 1.9 percent, led by Vietcombank (VCB), which was down 1.2 percent, Vietinbank (CTG), which declined by 1.1 percent and the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BID), which dropped sharply by 4.5 percent.-VNA