Illustrative photo (Photo: thoibaonganhang.vn)

Hanoi (VNA)  — Shares declined for the first time in the last four trades as investors still kept a cautious view on the market outlook amid global volatility following the US-China trade tension.

The benchmark VN-Index on the HCM Stock Exchange edged down 0.44 percent on March 29, closing at 1,167.03 points, after advancing 1.6 percent in the previous three days.

This was the second fall of this index in the past two weeks. The southern market index has expanded more than 4 percent this month.

The trading volume continued to decrease with more than 185 million shares being exchanged, down 11.2 percent from March 28’s level, but value of trades increased 6.6 percent, totaling 6.6 trillion VND (290 million USD).

“Continuous declining volume reflected a somewhat depressed sentiment of investors with the sluggish movements of the market in the past few sessions and thus disbursements were reduced to some degree,” analysts at Saigon-Hanoi Securities Co wrote in a note.

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index closed off 0.51 percent at 131.88 points. Liquidity here also dropped to about 42 million shares worth 707 billion VND being traded, down 5.3 percent in volume and 15.5 percent in value compared with March 28’s figures.

Large caps, which were used to be the market boost, diverged largely on March 29.

Big losers included dairy giant Vinamilk (VNM), down 1.9 percent; lenders BIDV (BID) and Vietinbank (CTG), down 1.2 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively; FLC Faros Construction (ROS), down 6.7 percent; Hau Giang Pharmaceutical (DHG), down 3.8 percent; and budget airline Vietjet (VJC), down 1.3 percent.

The market was cushioned by growth of steelmaker Hoa Phat Group (HPG) and FPT Corp (FPT), each up more than 1 percent; Vietcombank (VCB), up 0.7 percent; real estate conglomerate VinGroup (VIC), up 0.4 percent; and HDBank (HDB), up 1.2 percent.

According to MB Securities Co, caution is necessary in the current context of rising volatility on the global markets, and we “may need a prevention strategy if the world stock markets witness unexpected slumps”.

Asian and US stocks declined for a second day on May 29 over fears China could target a broad range of US businesses if trade spat worsens.

Foreign investors turned heads selling out Vietnamese shares on March 29, offloading net sell value of 98 billion VND on the HCM City’s bourse but they remained net buyers on the Hanoi Stock Exchange for a modest value of more than 8 billion VND.-VNA