Vietnam’s upbeat economic results in 2017 as well as bright prospects for 2018 are likely to support local stock market development in the medium term, analysts say (Photo: tinnhanhchungkhoan.vn)

Hanoi (VNA) - Stocks on the national exchanges are expected to rise further in the last week of 2017, boosted by positive macro economic development and foreign traders.

The benchmark VN-Index on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange recovered from two declining weeks, gaining 1.83 percent last week to close at 952.32 points on December 22.

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index increased 1.28 percent after five sessions last week, ending Friday at 113.03 points.

Liquidity declined slightly from the previous session, averaging 242.3 million shares worth 5.4 trillion VND (237 million USD) being traded through order matching per session on the two exchanges.

According to Le Duc Khanh, deputy director at PetroVietnam Securities Inc’s analysis division, Vietnam’s upbeat economic results in 2017 as well as bright prospects for 2018 will continue to be a major supporting factor for the local stock markets in the medium term.

Vietnam’s GDP is forecast to meet its annual target of 6.7 percent by the year-end after recording a sharp increase of 7.4 percent in the third quarter. The Government will retain the target for 2018, including inflation of below 4 percent.

Strong foreign capital inflows as well as high credit expansion (about 18 percent in 2018) are expected to continue supporting market expansion, Khanh said.

In the stock market, large-cap stocks continued to drive the market, mostly oil and gas and bank stocks.

Gains in global oil prices helped push up local oil and gas shares. Though P-shares were not among the top 10 gainers, most of them were among top 30 rising stocks out of over 700 listings in the two markets.

[Experts optimistic about 2018 stock market prospects]

The biggest listed stock, PV Gas (GAS), rallied nearly 7 percent last week, while Petrolimex (PLX) increased over 6 percent, and PetroVietnam Drilling and Well Services (PVD) gained over 4 percent.

Other smaller firms, like PetroVietnam Technical Services (PVS) and PetroVietnam Drilling Mud (PVC), jumped over 13 percent and 12 percent, respectively.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, the US light crude posted a 2 percent weekly rise, trading at 58.47 USD per barrel while the Brent crude gained 3.2 percent to 65.25 USD a barrel.

With positive earning prospects, bank stocks also posted a winning week with big lenders such as Vietcombank (VCB), BIDV (BID) and Vietnam Prosperity Bank (VPB) climbing 4-10 percent each.

According to Tran Anh Tuan, head of analysis at Vietcombank Securities Co, the outlook for the banking sector remains positive next year thanks to positive credit growth, supportive policies and banks’ efforts in dealing with bad debts.

“A number of bank shares have gained substantially, and I think bank shares will still be an important sector leading the market uptrend next year,” Tuan was quoted as saying on securities website tinnhanhchungkhoan.vn.

Foreign traders purchased a total net value of over 1.1 trillion VND on the two exchanges, with the HCM Stock Exchange garnering the lion’s share at 1.07 trillion VND.

On the southern bourse, their purchase were focused on steelmaker Hoa Phat Group’s shares, with five consecutive net selling sessions worth a total of 524 billion VND.

Statistics show that foreign investors have tended to pour more money in the last week of the year. In six of the last seven years (2010-2016), foreign traders have been net buyers from December 20-31, except in 2011.-VNA