Investors follow stock transactions (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnamese shares extended their losses on both local markets on April 1, led by bank and insurance company declines.

The benchmark VN Index on the HCM Stock Exchange was choppy and fell 0.5 percent to close at 558.43 points at the end of the day. The southern index has dropped two percent in the last two trading days.

The HNX Index on the Hanoi Stock Exchange lost 0.7 percent to finish at 78.47 points, erasing its gain made earlier during the session. The northern index has declined by 2.4 percent during the last four sessions.

The insurance sector weighed on local markets on April 1. The biggest losses included BIDV Insurance Corporation (BIC), Bao Viet Holdings (BVH), PVI Holdings (PVI) and Vietnam National Reinsurance Corporation (VNR). These stocks fell 3 percent, 1.6 percent, 1.7 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively.

Local markets were also pulled down by banks. Among those stocks, Sai Gon-Hanoi Bank (SHB) and Military Bank (MBB) recorded the biggest losses of 3.1 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively.

Other large-cap banks also finished lower, including Vietcombank (VCB), the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BID) and Vietinbank (CTG).

In addition, the food and beverage sector was sent down by Masan Group (MSN), which lost another 0.7 percent from the previous day’s fall after the company announced it would not pay dividends for shareholders despite higher earnings in 2015 compared to 2014.

A pullback in global crude prices also extended losses in energy stocks amidst a global glut and a stronger US dollar.

US crude dropped 0.8 percent to trade at 38.03 USD a barrel and London-traded Brent crude decreased by 0.6 percent to trade at 40.07 USD a barrel after a slight two-day gain.

Among energy stocks, PetroVietnam Drilling and Well Service Corporation (PVD) and PetroVietnam Mud Drilling Corporation (PVC) lost 0.5 percent and 0.8 percent, while PetroVietnam Coating Corporation (PVB) slumped 2.7 percent.

The property sector declined, too, led by FLC Group (FLC) and Tan Tao Investment Industrial JSC (ITA).

FLC was down 1.6 percent after the company said it would shut down its branch in the central province of Thanh Hoa, while ITA dropped 2.1 percent as the company’s net profit fell more than 95 percent in 2015 after its financial report was audited.

On the positive side, brokerage firms helped markets avoid deeper losses. Sai Go Securities Incorporation (SSI) rose 0.5 percent after the company recorded a net profit of 851.9 billion VND (37.8 million USD) last year, an increase of 14.4 percent from 2014, and the Japan-based Daiwa Securities Group Inc registered to buy more than 17.3 million SSI shares.

Both local markets traded more than 178 million shares worth 2.6 trillion VND (115.7 million USD), a decrease of a quarter from the March 31 trading value.-VNA