Shares advanced on both the national stock exchanges on March 19 despite a hike in the price of petrol.

The petrol price hike was expected to have a negative impact on the stock market during the afternoon trade. However, the market moved against expectations due to significant capital inflows and firm investor confidence.

On the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange, the VN-Index added 5.74 points, or as much as 0.96 percent, to close at 605.59 points on March 19, as it recovered from loss on March 18.

A total of more than 192 million shares changed hands on March 19 with the total trading value reaching 3.2 trillion VND (152.3 million USD).

With gainers overwhelming losers by 19-4, the VN30-Index, tracking the southern city's 30 largest shares by capitalisation and liquidity, gained 1.23 percent to end the day at 681.94 points.

The Tan Tao Group (ITA) was the pick of the investors on March 19 as more than 18.5 million of its shares changed hands and led the bourse in terms of liquidity.

Shares of ITA increased by 600 VND (0.028 USD) per share to its ceiling price of 9,500 VND (0.45 USD) after the news that the group was working with a French electricity group on the Kien Luong 1 Thermoelectric Plant project.

Banking stocks were also active on March 19 after the State Bank of Vietnam amended the Circular 02 about bad debt. Vietinbank (CTB), Eximbank (EIB), Military Bank (MBB), Sacombank (STB), and Vietcombank (VCB) all closed in the black.

Other big gainers included FPT Group (FPT), Hoa Phat Group (HPG), Hoa Sen Group (HSG), and Ocean Group (OCG).

Those gains pushed the benchmark indices to close higher, while the shares of PetroVietnam Low Pressure Gas Distribution (PGD), PetroVietnam Transportation (PVT), Ree Corporation (REE), and Vinamilk (VNM) dropped.

Overall, 183 codes on the southern bourse gained, while 55 codes lost values.

On the Hanoi Exchange, the HNX-Index posted a gain of 2.38 percent to end at 89.68 points and the HNXFF-Index closed at 90.38 points, with an apparent rise of nearly 2.95 percent.

Liquidity was at a high level as the total trading value reached 1.4 trillion VND (66.7 million USD) and nearly 130 million shares were traded.

The HNX30-Index, tracking the top 30 stocks, advanced 3.73 percent to finish at 183.97 points.

A record of more than 31.4 million shares of the Sai Gon–Ha Noi Bank (SHB) successfully changed hands on March 19, the highest recorded level for a stock to be traded in a single trading session.-VNA