Low investor confidence sees stocks in Vietnamese financial firms fall hinh anh 1 An investor observes market developments at the VNDirect Securities trading floor. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnamese shares were mixed on the two local exchanges, while financial firms fell on low investor confidence as the Chinese economy remained weak.

The benchmark VN Index on the HCM Stock Exchange dropped 0.5 percent to close at 571.71 points, extending losses of 0.8 percent to a second day.

On the contrary, the HNX Index on the Hanoi Stock Exchange rebounded 0.3 per cent to finish at 79.37 points after decline on March 8.

Investor confidence was low after China on March 8 announced the country's exports and imports saw their heaviest fall in nearly seven years, Saigon-Hanoi Securities Corporation (SHS) wrote in its daily report.

The fall in China's trade statistics raised concerns over a "hard landing" for the world's second-largest economy, which may hurt other countries, as China is a key driver of global trade and international growth.

Low investor confidence pulled down financial stocks, especially for insurance companies such as Bao Viet Holdings (BVH), BIDV Insurance Corporation (BIC) and Bao Minh Insurance Corporation (BMI). These stocks dropped 2.8 percent, 2.4 percent and 3.1 percent, respectively.

Banks also suffered from low investor confidence. Vietcombank (VCB) was down 0.5 percent, the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BID) lost 2.3 percent and Vietinbank (CTG) fell 1.7 percent.

Additionally, energy stocks extended declines after crude prices fell from two-month highs on March 8, while investors tried to look for profits in energy stocks after these stocks made strong gains in the previous sessions.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) on March 9 added 1.6 percent to trade at 37.07 USD a barrel. However, it plunged 3.7 percent to close at 36.50 USD a barrel after US inventories expanded to an eight-decade high.

Among local energy stocks, PetroVietnam Gas Corporation (GAS) lost 1.7 percent, PetroVietnam Mud Drilling Corporation (PVC) and PetroVietnam Coating Corporation (PVB) dropped 2.1 percent each.

On the positive side, property developers rose after Vietnam's central bank confirmed that the revised Circular 36, which aims to reduce the loans that commercial banks can lend in order to ensure financial safety in the banking sector, will not post negative effects on the property sector, SHS said in its report.

As a result, property developers such as Vingroup JSC (VIC), Tan Tao Investment Industrial JSC (ITA) and Da Nang Housing Investment Development JSC (NDN) made gains. These stocks rose 0.2 percent, 2 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively.

Both local markets traded more than 174 million shares worth 2.5 trillion VND (112 million USD), a decrease of one-fifth from March 8's trading value.-VNA