The unexpected news of a fuel price hike on March 28 weighed on the stock markets on March 29 as investors sold off in the morning session, but HCM City stocks managed to rally in the afternoon.

The Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Industry and Trade announced on March 28 afternoon they had allowed petrol companies to increase fuel retail prices.

As a result, petrol surged to more than 24,500 VND (1.17 USD) per litre, breaking the previous record of 23,800 VND set in April 2012.

On the HCM City Stock Exchange, the VN-Index added 0.08 percent compared to the previous day, standing at 491.04 points.

The VN30, tracking the top 30 shares by market capitalisation and liquidity, managed to advance by 0.07 percent to 552.28 points, although most blue chips tumbled or closed unchanged.

In spite of the price hike, shares in Petrolimex subsidiaries did not follow the rise, with Petrolimex Gas Corporation (PGC) falling 1 percent and Petrolimex Tanker Co (PJT) finishing the session unchanged.

Trading was sluggish with value of trades dropping 33 percent from that seen in the previous day, reaching 600.34 billion VND (28.5 million USD).

Meanwhile, on the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index slid 0.1 percent to 60.25 points. Trading value was the same as on March 28, totalling 277 billion VND (13.1 million USD).

The HNX30, comprised of the northern bourse's leading shares, bucked the Hanoi market's trend to rally 0.11 percent to 114.11 points.

Foreign investors were net buyers again, but there was a big difference in value between the two exchanges, hitting 30.88 billion VND (1.4 million USD) in HCM City and only 765.4 million VND (36,400 USD).-VNA