Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnamese shares fell sharply on both local exchanges on January 14 amid above average trading volume as a global stock market rout unnerved investors.

The benchmark VN Index on the HCM Stock Exchange dropped 1.3 percent to close at 553.03 points and extended a two-day loss to 2 percent. The HNX Index on the Hanoi Stock Exchange lost 1.2 percent to end at 75.71 points.

Investor confidence in Vietnam was undermined by another drop in Asian stocks on January 14 which came on the heels of a plunge in US stocks and crude prices remaining near twelve-year lows, Saigon-Hanoi Securities Corporation (SHS) wrote in a report.

The US benchmark crude West Texas Intermediate (WTI) om January 14 traded at 30.55 USD a barrel, an increase of 0.4 percent from a twelve-year low, while London-traded Brent crude fell another 0.9 percent to trade at nearly 30.05 USD a barrel.

SHS said that some investors showed signs of panic selling, informing their brokers to get them out of positions no matter the price.

Decliners on January 14 were led by financial and energy stocks.

Among financial firms, insurer Bao Viet Holdings (BVH) fell 3.9 percent, Vietcombank (VCB) lost 1.2 percent, and the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BID) slumped 2.6 percent.

Other stocks that also pulled the markets down included software supplier FPT Corporation (FPT), which was down 0.4 percent, and food and beverage producer Masan Group (MSN), which dropped 1.3 percent.

In addition, leading plastic companies declined after two-day gains. Tien Phong Plastic JSC (NTP) fell 3.1 percent after rising 2.2 percent, and Binh Minh Plastic JSC (BMP) lost 1.6 percent after gaining 4.1 percent.

Vietnam's central bank on January 14 lowered the reference mid-point in its US dollar trading band by 2 VND to 21,907 VND a dollar. However, local banks weakened the dong by 15 VND to 30 VND a dollar to trade at 22,470 VND to 22,480 VND.

The stock markets traded more than 195.5 million shares worth more than 2.7 trillion VND (122 million USD), an increase of 12 percent from the trading value on January 13 and above 2015's daily average of 2.5 trillion VND.-VNA