Vietnamese shares on May 20 slid further on both local exchanges (Photo: bizlive.vn)

Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnamese shares on May 20 slid further on both local exchanges as investor confidence in financial firms remained low, following the US central bank’s announcement on the previous day.

The benchmark VN Index on the HCM Stock Exchange dropped 0.7 percent to finish at 614.81 points, losing a total of 1.6 percent in the last three sessions.

The HNX Index on the Hanoi Stock Exchange inched down 0.1 percent to end at 81.75 points, extending a three-day decline of 0.6 percent.

“There was no improvement in investor confidence, amid fears that the US central bank may raise its interest rates in June,” Saigon-Hanoi Securities Corp (SHS) wrote in its daily report.

That fear resulted in a net foreign-selling value during the last two sessions of the week, as foreign investors tried to withdraw from local assets, SHS said.

Foreign investors recorded a net selling value of 103 billion USD (4.6 million USD) on May 20, totaling their net selling value of 230 billion VND during the last two trading days.

That selling activity came on investors’ fears that the US central bank will raise interest rates in June, which could weaken other currencies, including the Vietnamese dong, against the US dollar and reduce their profitability in local assets.

In Vietnam’s market, the daily reference mid-point rate set by the central bank added another 8 VND to 21,918 VND for a dollar. It has gained 28 VND in two days.

Low investor confidence brought financial firms down, such as banks, insurance companies and brokerage units.

Sacombank (STB) suffered the biggest loss of 4 per cent among banks, while other large-cap bank stocks such as Vietcombank (VCB), Vietinbank (CTG), the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BID), and Asia Commercial Bank (ACB) fell between 0.8 percent and 1.6 percent.

Insurer Bao Viet Holdings (BVH) and BIDV Insurance Corp (BIC) pulled the insurance sector down. These stocks decreased by 3.3 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively.

Other blue chips which also suffered from foreign selling included consumer goods producer Masan Group (MSN), property developer Vingroup JSC (VIC), conglomerate Hoang Anh Gia Lai JSC (HAG), and its subsidiary HAGL Agricultural JSC (HNG).

Meanwhile, energy stocks recovered after a two-day decline as global oil prices showed improvement and US crude output slid further.

PetroVietnam Drilling and Well Service Corp (PVD), PetroVietnam Mud Drilling Corp (PVC) and PetroVietnam Technical Service Corp (PVS) were up between 0.6 percent and 1.7 percent.

Both local markets traded more than 175 million shares worth 3.48 trillion VND, an increase of 16 percent from the May 19 trading value.-VNA