Shares continued to decline on February 5 on both stock exchanges as many investors unloaded shares to reduce borrowing costs ahead of the long Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday.

According to analysts, selling pressure will likely increase toward the end of the week because investors who retain their shares through the holiday will have to pay borrowing fees for the nine-day vacation. And since the market has advanced significantly since the beginning of this year, many investors decided to lock in profits on fears that bad signs might appear during next week’s holiday, analysts of FPT Securities Co wrote in a note.

Thee benchmark VN-Index on the HCM Stock Exchange fell more than 1 percent to close the day’s session at 477.36 point.

Trading was good, however, with 63.4 million shares worth almost 1.35 trillion VND (64.6 million USD) changing hands, up 10 percent in volume and 50 percent in value compared to the previous day’s figures.

Blue chips led the market downturn: only six of the top 30 shares on the bourse climbed while 19 declined and five closed flat. The VN30 was down 0.93 percent to stand at 556.83 points.

Index heavyweight shares such as insurer Bao Viet Holdings (BVH), dairy giant Vinamilk (VNM), food processor Masan Group (MSN), Eximbank (EIB) and property developer Hoang Anh Gia Lai Co (HAG) all lost value.

Tan Tao Investment-Industry Corporation (ITA) was the most active stock with 5.7 million shares traded, falling 3.23 percent to end at 9,000 VND after rising to 9,600 VND in the morning.

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index was off 0.25 percent at 62.77 points on a total value of 353.7 billion VND (16.9 million USD).

Sai Gon - Hanoi bank (SHB) continued to be the most active code on total trades of 7.9 million shares, closing unchanged at 7,200 VND a share.

Foreign investors returned to be net buyers on both markets but their net buys decreased significantly to a total of about 777 million VND (37,200 USD). -VNA