Staff work at the Hanoi Stock Exchange (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - Shares retreated on August 12 on the two national stock exchanges after bank and milk shares, the driving force of the market this week, lost steam and declined steeply.

The benchmark VN-Index, a measure of 309 stocks on the HCM Stock Exchange, dropped 0.7 percent and closed at 655.7 points. The index rose 4.5 percent since August 5 and saw the best week in the last 10 months.

On the smaller northern exchange in Hanoi, the HNX-Index inched down 0.1 percent to end at 83.1 points. It was up 2.5 percent for the week.

Dairy giant Vinamilk (VNM) gave up 0.6 percent, closing at 168,000 VND (7.53 USD) per share. The country’s largest listed company surged 3 percent on the August 11 after the US index provider MSCI added the company’s shares to its frontier markets index. The shares gained 6.3 percent for the whole week.

Besides milk shares, a bank slump weighed on the market.

The largest listed lender Vietcombank (VCB) lost 2.7 percent on August 12 amid investor concerns over the impacts on the bank after the information that one of its customer lost 500 million VND in her account on August 10.

Other big banks like Vietinbank (CTG), BIDV (BID) and Military Bank (MBB) also fell between 0.6 and 1.2 percent.

On the other end of the spectrum, oil and gas stocks extended gains and cushioned the market as a recovery in oil prices continued to buoy demand for these shares.

PV Gas (GAS), PetroVietnam Drilling and Wells Service (PVD) and PetroVietnam Technical Services (PVS) increased 1.6 percent, 2.6 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively.

After rallying sessions, profit-taking pressure rose in the weekend session with a negative market breadth despite the positive change of oil prices, Bao Viet Securities Co’s stock analyst Tran Duc Anh wrote in an August 12 report.

“The market is likely to decrease early next week,” Anh said, noting the short-term uptrend of the market had weakened.

Among active stocks, real estate companies continued to attract heavy investments. Half of the top most active stocks in the two exchanges were property companies like Tan Tao Investment and Industry Corp (ITA), Kinh Bac City Development Holding Corp (KBC), Vietnam Construction and Import-Export Corp (VCG) and Tasco (HUT).

ITA led trades nationwide with 15.5 million shares changed hands. The share price climbed 1.9 percent. Other stocks had trades of between 3 million shares and 5 million shares.

A total of over 180 million shares worth a combined 3.4 trillion VND were exchanged in the two markets by the end of the session, down 3 percent in volume but up over 6 percent in value compared with the previous session.

Foreign trades were mixed when they were net sellers for a net value of 73 billion VND on the HCM City’s exchange but were responsible for a net buy value of 16.3 billion VND in the Hanoi market.-VNA