Higher oil drives Vietnam stocks up hinh anh 1 An investor at Saigon Securities Incorporation’s trading floor. (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnamese shares extended gains for a second day on both local markets on March 17 on improved investor confidence and higher oil prices.

The benchmark VN Index on the HCM Stock Exchange added 0.4 percent to close at 579.26 points, rising 0.9 percent in the last two trading days.

The HNX Index on the Hanoi Stock Exchange edged up 0.7 percent to finish at 80.56 points. The northern index increased by 1.2 percent during the last two sessions.

Investor confidence improved after the US central bank on March 16 night decided to keep interest rates stable, reduced the number of rate hikes for this year and projected an interest rate of 0.9 percent at the end of this year, down 0.5 percentage point, Bao Viet Securities Corporation (BVSC) wrote in its daily report.

Higher investor confidence lifted property companies, insurance firms and metal producers yesterday, BVSC said.

Among property firms, Vingroup JSC (VIC) was up 0.9 percent, Kinh Bac City Development Share Holding Corporation (KBC) edged up 0.8 percent and HCM City Infrastructure Investment JSC (CII) grew 0.4 percent.

Insurance stocks also made gains. Bao Viet Holdings (BVH) rose 0.9 percent, BIDV Insurance Corporation (BIC) increased by 0.4 percent and PVI Holdings (PVI) inched up 0.3 percent.

Among metal producers, Hoa Sen Group (HSG) gained 1.4 percent, Hoa Phat Group JSC (HPG) was up 0.3 percent and Vicostone JSC (VCS) rose 4.5 percent.

In addition, global oil prices on the day advanced for a second day as US output fell and stockpiles rose slowly.

US benchmark crude West Texas Intermediate (WTI) gained 1.8 percent to trade at 39.16 USD a barrel, rising 7.8 percent in the last two sessions.

London-traded Brent crude added 1.6 percent to trade at nearly 41 USD a barrel, a jump of 5.8 percent over two days.

Strong gains in oil prices lifted the local energy sector with PetroVietnam Gas Corporation (GAS), and PetroVietnam Drilling and Well Service Corporation (PVD) jumping 4.5 percent and 3.9 percent, respectively, while PetroVietnam Technical Service Corporation (PVS) was up 2.4 percent.

On the opposite side, banks and brokerage companies weighed on the markets as Vietcombank (VCB) lost 1.2 percent, the Asia Commercial Bank (ACB) was down 0.6 percent, HCM City Securities Corporation (HCM) fell 0.7 percent and Sai Gon Securities Incorporation (SSI) dropped 0.5 percent.

Both local exchanges traded more than 235 million shares worth 3.32 trillion VND (147.8 million USD), an increase of one-fifth from March 16’s trading value.-VNA