The benchmark VN Index on the HCM Stock Exchange pulled back 1.5 percent (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnamese shares fell on both local markets on March 31 as lower oil prices pulled energy stocks down and investors tried to take profits from recent gains.

The benchmark VN Index on the HCM Stock Exchange pulled back 1.5 percent from previous day’s gain to close at 561.22 points.

The HNX Index on the Hanoi Stock Exchange lost another 0.5 percent to finish at 79.05 points. The northern index has slipped 1.7 percent in the last three sessions.

The energy sector declined as global crude prices retreated on the global exchanges from slight gains on March 30 after US stockpiles expanded to keep supplies at the highest level in the last eight decades amid a global glut.

US crude West Texas Intermediate (WTI) fell 1.3 percent to trade at 37.81 USD a barrel and London-traded Brent crude was down 0.5 percent to trade at 39.07 USD a barrel.

PetroVietnam Technical Service Corporation (PVS), PetroVietnam Gas Corporation (GAS), and PetroVietnam Drilling and Well Service Corporation (PVD) slumped 5 percent, 4.7 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, investors also tried to take profits from stocks that have made gains recently, including medical equipment providers, plastic producers and steel makers.

Among medical equipment providers, Hau Giang Pharmaceutical JSC (DHG) slumped 4 percent after rising 2.3 percent in the previous two days, Traphaco JSC (TRA) declined by 6.1 percent after gaining 14 percent in the previous three days, and Domesco Medical Import-Export JSC (DMC) fell 3.5 percent from a three-day rally of 9 percent.

In the plastic industry, Dong A Plastic JSC (DAG) dropped 1.5 percent after it gained 17 percent in the previous three days, Tien Phong Plastic JSC (NTP) lost 2.3 percent after increasing 10 percent during that period, and An Phat Plastic and Green Environment JSC (AAA) slid 4 percent from a four-day gain of 4.2 percent.

Steel makers such as Vietnam Germany Steel Pipe JSC (VGS) and DANA-Italy Steel JSC (DNY) also fell. VGS was down 1.1 percent from a four-day jump of 22 percent and DNY decreased by 2.5 percent after rocketing 60 percent since the beginning of March.

Other declining large-cap stocks included dairy firm Vinamilk (VNM), food producer Masan Group (MSN), insurer Bao Viet Holdings (BVH) and Vietcombank (VCB). They fell 1.5 percent, 1.4 percent, 2.9 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively.

Both local markets traded more than 226 million shares worth 3.47 trillion VND (154.5 million USD), an increase of a quarter from previous day's trading value.-VNA