Local stocks down as crude prices decline hinh anh 1Illustrative photo (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnamese shares retreated on both local bourses on March 8 as energy stocks declined on profit-taking and a slide in crude prices.

The benchmark VN Index on the HCM Stock Exchange dropped 0.3 percent to close at 574.71 points, ending a rally of 3 percent in the previous five days.

The HNX Index on the Hanoi Stock Exchange fell 0.8 percent to finish at 79.12 points. The northern index had risen 0.6 percent during the previous two trading sessions.

Energy stocks started to fall as crude prices edged down on estimates that US stockpiles may grow and after Kuwait said on the day that it would only agree with other producers on a production freeze if all oil exporters take part in the action.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) lost 0.6 percent to trade at 37.67 USD a barrel and London-traded Brent crude dropped 0.4 percent to trade at 40.69 USD a barrel.
WTI has surged nearly 40 percent in the last two months and Brent crude had jumped nearly 18 percent during the last two trading weeks on expectations that the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the world’s top exporters will reduce oil production to save prices.

Among local energy stocks, PetroVietnam Gas Corporation (GAS) fell 2.5 percent, and PetroVietnam Drilling and Well Service Corporation (PVD) slipped 1.9 percent. GAS had risen 18 percent in the previous seven trading days.

Additionally, banks also helped pull down both markets after China on the day announced its exports had the heaviest fall in February, raising concerns over a weaker Chinese yuan against the US dollar, which may put pressure on other currencies including the Vietnamese đồng.

The banking sector was led down by the Asia Commercial Bank (ACB), which slumped 4.1 percent; Vietcombank (VCB), which dropped 0.5 percent; the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BID) and Vietinbank (CTG), which lost 0.6 percent each; and Sacombank (STB), which slid 1 percent.

On the positive side, steel makers such as Hoa Sen Group (HSG), Hoa Phat Group JSC (HPG), Vietnam-Italy Steel JSC (VIS) and Tien Len Steel Group JSC (HTL) advanced after the Ministry of Industry and Trade on Monday issued a decision to temporarily protect local steel producers against cheap imported steel products.

At the end of the session, HSG rose 2.9 percent, HPG jumped 3.9 percent, VIS surged 6.6 percent and HTL advanced 5.7 percent.

Both local markets traded more than 203 million shares worth 3.2 trillion VND (144.3 million USD), a slight increase from March 7’s trading value.-VNA