Bank stocks drag down VN-Index hinh anh 1Investors at Tan Viet Securities Inc in Hanoi (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - Shares declined on the two national stock exchanges on December 21, dragged by bank stocks, as investor sentiment remained unstable on the market outlook.

On the HCM Stock Exchange, the VN-Index dropped 0.78 percent to close trade at 946.06 points. Meanwhile, the HNX-Index on the Hanoi Stock Exchange edged down 0.33 percent to end at 113.57 points.

Both stock indices decreased on the previous day.

Energy and bank stocks, which were the market drivers in the previous session, slumped on December 21.

Six of 10 listed banks on the two stock exchanges lost value and only two advanced. The Big Three (three biggest banks by market value) – Vietcombank (VCB), Vietinbank (CTG) and BIDV (BID) – all decreased by over 1 percent.

Among oil and gas stocks, only PV Gas (GAS) maintained a tiny gain of 0.3 percent while other companies such as PetroVietnam Drilling and Well Services (PVD) and PetroVietnam Drilling Mud (PVC) both declined 3.8 percent.

Large caps were on the downtrend side with 17 of the top 30 largest shares by market value and liquidity on the HCM Stock Exchange slipping and only nine advancing.

“Overall, distinct stories could not create a strong bullish sentiment. We believe it is rather difficult for the market to see a strong uptrend until early 2018,” Quang Vo, a stock analyst at Viet Dragon Securities Co wrote in a note.

On the positive side, Vinamilk (VNM) increased 0.94 percent; insurer Bao Viet Holdings (BVH) was up 1.2 percent; and steelmaker Hoa Phat Group (HPG) increased 0.2 percent.

HPG rose for a seventh straight day in a row with total growth of 11 percent, being traded at over 44,000 VND (1.93 USD). It also topped the foreign net buys for a second day with over five million shares in the past two days.

According to Quang Vo, HPG’s attraction comes from its expected outstanding Q4 business results due to the increasing steel prices. Besides, the new coated-steel plant coming into operation from early 2018, along with the Mandarin Garden apartment being handed over in Q4 this year, is also a plus.

Trading value improved on December 21, worth a combined 7.1 trillion VND (312.5 million USD) in the two markets, up 9.2 percent over the previous session, but total trading volume decreased 2 percent to 284 million shares. - VNA