Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnamese shares struggled to rise on August 23 on late buying while foreign investors remained net sellers on fears of a US interest rate hike in September.

The benchmark VN Index on the HCM Stock Exchange edged up 0.2 percent to end at 659.16 points.

The HNX Index on the Hanoi Stock Exchange gained 0.5 percent to close at 83.11 points, ending a three-day drop of 1.3 percent.

“Stocks were traded mostly lower during the day, and the VN Index fell to near 650 points at some specific moments,” Saigon-Hanoi Securities Corp (SHS) wrote in its daily report.

“Late buying helped pick market up as investors tried to swoop in large-cap stocks that had fallen to attractive price ranges during the session.”

Large-cap stocks such as dairy firm Vinamilk (VNM), confectionery company KIDO Corp (KDC), property developer Vingroup JSC (VIC), and steel producers Hoa Phat Group (HPG) and Hoa Sen Group (HSG) were the ones that benefited from the late buying, SHS said.

VNM, KDC, VIC, HPG and HSG advanced between 1.6 percent and 6.9 percent.

VNM and HSG were also supported by the market expectations they would be added into the investment portfolio of London-based investment fund FTSE Russell’s FTSE Vietnam ETF next week, Bao Viet Securities Corp (BVSC) wrote in a note.

On the opposite side, “Energy stocks such as PetroVietnam Gas Corp (GAS), PetroVietnam Drilling and Well Services Corp (PVD) and PetroVietnam Mud Drilling Corp (PVC) suffered from lower global oil prices,” SHS said.

US crude was traded at 46.92 USD a barrel, down more than 1 percent from August 22. It has slid 3.3 percent from a seven-day rally of 16.3 percent since August 10.

Foreign investors on August 23 remained net sellers for an eighth day with total net sell value of more than 184 billion VND (8.2 million USD).

It should be noted that investors across Asian markets have been cautious as the US central bank at its meeting next month will increase interest rates for the first time since December 2015.

The rate hike and market expectations have recently weakened local currencies against the US dollar. Vietnam’s central bank on August 23 raised the daily reference mid-point rate for local trading between the Vietnamese dong and the dollar by 11 VND to 21,886 VND. The mid-point rate has jumped 30 VND from last week’s closing rate.

More than 138 million shares worth nearly 2.77 trillion VND were exchanged on August 23, an increase of 7.3 percent in value from previous day.-VNA