Stocks continued to advance on both stock exchanges on March 21 as traders offloaded shares to sell for profit at the closing session of the HCM City Stock Exchange.

Bullish investors continued to hunt for shares on growing optimism that the market would continue the uptrend that started about five months ago, led by economic growth-driven factors like interest rate cuts.
On the HCM City Stock Exchange, the VN-Index added 1.49 points or 0.25 per cent to end the day at 601.75. A total of 229 million shares changed hands on March 21 with total trading value worth more than 5,018 billion VND (238 million USD), up 30 percent from March 20.

Market breadth was positive on the HCM City Stock Exchange where 157 stocks advanced, 78 tumbled and 59 closed unchanged.

The VN30-Index, tracking the southern city's 30 largest shares by capitalisation and liquidity, rose 3.9 points or 0.58 percent to close at 679.98.

PetroVietnam Transportation Corporation (PVT) remained the most active share with 13.5 million trades, rallying 6.55 percent to end at 17,900 VND per share. This activity was attributed to the fund review of the Market Vector Vietnam ETF, which decided to increase its holding of PVT last week.

Tan Tao Investment – Industry Group (ITA) came second in market volume with 12 million shares changing hands, slipping 1 per cent to close at 9,600 VND per share. It was followed by FLC Group (FLC), which soared 6.5 percent to stand at 14,700VND on trades of 11.4 million shares.

Other big gainers included Vingroup (VIC), Vinamilk (VNM) and Vietcombank (VCB) while shares of Masan group (MSN), Bao Viet group (BVH) and PetroVietnam GAS dropped.

On the Ha Noi Stock Exchange, shares advanced for six days in a row, keeping the market index HNX-Index at a high of three years for another day as increasingly optimistic traders rushed to buy local shares.

Cash continued to be injected into the equity market as bullish traders believed that the market would maintain its upward movement because valuations remained attractive although the stock had gained a lot in the past five months, a stock analyst in Hanoi said.

The HNX-Index added 0.66 points or 0.73 percent to close at 90.26 points. The HNX 30 Index, tracking the top 30 stocks, rallied 1.07 points to finish at 185.25 points.

Market breadth was positive on the northern exchange. Among index members, 190 stocks rose, 76 tumbled, 52 closed unmoved and 62 were untraded.

Trading volume was slightly changed from yesterday, totalling 138 million shares worth 1,819 billion VND, up 20 percent from the previous day.

Sai Gon- Ha Noi Bank (SHB), the most active on the measure with 24 million shares traded, rose nearly 1 percent to end at VND11,700 per share.

PetroVietnam Technical Services Corporation (PVS), second in liquidity with 15 million shares changing hands, shed 0.7 per cent to settle at VND29,800 per share.-VNA