Investors follow transactions at ​An Binh Securities Company in Hanoi (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Shares retreated from a five-month high seen in the morning of August 29 as investors increased selling due to caution ahead of portfolio restructuring of large exchange-traded funds.

The benchmark VN-Index on the HCM Stock Exchange dropped to 669.4 points by the end of the afternoon session after hitting nearly 677 points in the morning. It was, however, still up 0.3 percent from August 26 level.

The HNX-Index on the smaller exchange in Hanoi inched down 0.9 percent to end the session at 83.2 points.

Market breadth was negative. Of a total of 689 stocks, the number of losers outnumbered the gainers by 285-134. Some heavyweight shares rescued the market.

Private equity firm Masan Group (MSN), one of the top 10 largest stocks by market capitalisation, extended gains on August 29 after it announced its plan to buy back 20 million shares of the company to boost the share price.

MSN jumped 6.3 percent on August 29 to 67,000 VND (3 USD). It had increased 2.4 percent on August 26.

Dairy firm Vinamilk (VNM), the largest listed stock, rose 3.4 percent. The other two shares among the top 10 largest stocks were lender BIDV (BID) and insurer Bao Viet Holdings (BVH) which gained 0.6 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, other stocks were sold heavily on the market.

Shares of Vietcombank (VCB), the largest listed bank, retreated to the reference price in the afternoon after rising over 3 percent in the morning. The bank’s chairman on August 29 revealed VCB would be signing a Memorandum of Understanding to sell 10 percent stake to a Singaporean partner.

Big oil and gas shares like PV Gas (GAS) and PetroVietnam Drilling and Wells Service (PVD) also lost value.

According to stock analysts at the BIDV Securities Co, investors could take advantage of rising sessions to realise cash profits while reorganising their portfolios to await the quarterly restructuring of large exchange-traded funds in the next two weeks.

“VN-Index is still moving sideways with alternate ups and downs in the 645-670 threshold in the short term. The positive movement of large-cap stocks is supporting investor sentiment," Tran Duc Anh, analyst at Bao Viet Securities Co, wrote in a report.

Foreign investors remained net sellers in the two markets and unloaded shares worth a combined net value of 52.5 billion VND.

A total of 162 million shares worth 3.4 trillion VND were traded in the two markets on August 29.-VNA