Shares drop off after 10-year high hinh anh 1Investors on the trading floor at MB Securities Co. (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - Shares declined unexpectedly on March 31 on the two exchanges, beating analyst forecasts of a continued rise after the VN-Index surpassed the previous ten-year high.

On the HCM Stock Exchange, the VN-Index sank for the first time in three days, edging down 0.2 percent to close at 722.3 points. The southern index increased 0.7 percent in the last two trades.

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index was down 0.3 percent to end at 90.8 points. The northern index gained 0.6 percent in the previous two sessions.

Banks and food and beverage companies, which were the main driving force of the market in the previous sessions, lost their steam.

Except Sacombank (STB) which climbed 1.8 percent and Nam Viet Bank (NVB) closed unchanged, seven other listed lenders slumped, including Vietcombank (VCB), Vietinbank (CTG), BIDV (BID), Military Bank (MBB) and Asia Commercial Bank (ACB) which dropped around 1 percent each.

Prices of bank shares have climbed around 10 percent in the last two weeks, driving investors to capitalise on short-term profits.

Credit growth in the first three months hit a 6-year high at 2.81 percent, according to a report by the General Statistics Office. This data indicated positive capital absorption of enterprises early in the year, thereby raising the interest income of banks.

In the food-drink sector, only Masan Group (MSN) maintained a modest rise of 1.2 percent, other big companies such as Vinamilk (VNM), Sabeco (SAB) and Habeco (BHN) decreased 0.5-3.5 percent.

“The market is still facing a high risk of short-term decline,” said Tran Duc Anh, a stock analyst at Bao Viet Securities Co.

In a market report yesterday, Anh said most stocks showed a signal of forming a short-term peak in the previous session and the index’s rally was mostly backed up by large-cap stocks.

“Investors should take profit when the index surpasses a peak,” he said.

On the positive side, steel stocks gained as investors speculated on the information that the Ministry of Industry and Trade has imposed an anti-dumping tax on imported coated steel from China and the Republic of Korea.

This decision is expected to help local steel manufacturers boost sales as well as profits.

The biggest listed steel firm Hoa Phat Group (HPG) increased 2 percent. Nam Kim Steel (NKG) was up 3.2 percent while Hoa Sen Group (HSG) and Viet-Italy Steel (VIS) rose by less than 1 percent.

Total liquidity remained high at over 256 million shares worth 4.3 trillion VND (188.4 million USD) being traded in the two markets.-VNA