Vietnamese shares fell on July 8 as investors sought profits from recent gains. (Source: investvine.com)

Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnamese shares fell on July 8 as investors sought profits from recent gains after the markets increased strongly in recent weeks.

The benchmark VN Index on the HCM Stock Exchange dropped 0.4 percent to finish at 658.68 points. The southern market index gained 2.9 percent during the week, beating previous forecasts.

The HNX Index on the Hanoi Stock Exchange retreated 0.7 percent to close at 87.57 points from a five-day rally of 4.1 percent. The northern market index rose 2.8 percent from the previous week.

Investors tried to take profits in blue chips that had increased in the previous sessions, such as banks and securities firms.

Among banks, Saigon-Hanoi Bank (SHB) fell 1.6 percent from a three-day gain of 4.9 percent. Two other large-cap banks, Vietinbank (CTG) and the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BID), edged down 0.6 percent each.

In the brokerage sector, HCM City Securities Corp (HCM) declined by 0.3 percent after it jumped 12.7 percent in the previous five days, and VNDirect Securities Corp (VND) slid 1.5 percent after it surged one-fifth since June 24.

In the energy sector, PetroVietnam Gas Corp (GAS) slipped 1.5 percent after rising 12.7 percent in the previous nine sessions, PetroVietnam Transportation Corp (PVT) was down 1.3 percent from a two-day gain of 8 percent.

Insurer Bao Viet Holdings (BVH) pulled back 3.2 percent after it had jumped 6.8 percent in the previous five trading days, and BIDV Insurance Corp (BIC) edged down 0.8 percent from a two-day increase of 5.5 percent.

Building material producers such as Tien Phong Plastic JSC (NTP), steel producer Hoa Phat Group (HPG), stone producer Vicostone JSC (VCS), and construction firms like HCM City Infrastructure Investment JSC (CII) and Hoa Binh Construction and Real Estate Corp (HBC) also suffered from profit-taking. These stocks fell between 0.2 percent and 4.2 percent.

On July 8, Vietnam’s central bank cut its daily reference mid-point rate by 7 VND to 21,862 VND for a US dollar. Local banks were able to trade the Vietnamese dong and the dollar within a trading band of 3 percent on either side of the mid-point rate.

Market trading liquidity remained high on July 8. Investors exchanged 210.5 million shares on both local exchanges, worth 4.27 trillion VND (190 million USD), a slight increase from July 7’s trading value.-VNA