Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnamese shares fell on January 13 in HCM City, led by banks and food companies.

The benchmark VN Index on the HCM Stock Exchange pulled back 0.7 percent to close at 560.37 points while the HNX Index on the Hanoi Stock Exchange ended flat at 76.66 points.

The food and beverage producer sector index helped pull the market down as dairy firm (VNM) and food and beverage company Masan Group (MSN) fell 1.6 percent and 2 percent after gains on January 12.

Financial firms also declined on January 13, including banks, brokerage companies and insurers, after they made big gains on previous day.

Among leading financial firms, the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BID) lost 1.6 percent, Vietcombank (VCB) was down 0.9 percent, insurer Bao Viet Holdings (BVH) fell 1 percent, and brokerage firm HCM City Securities Corporation (HCM) dropped 1.1 percent.

Vietnam's central bank on January 13 cut its reference point for exchange rate by 4 VND to 21,909 VND a dollar. However, the dong weakened as banks traded the dollar at around 22,455 VND, an increase of 10-15 VND from January 12.

The agriculture sector index slid 1.9 percent as the biggest agricultural stock, Hoang Anh Gia Lai JSC (HAG), fell 3.5 percent after it gained 18 percent during the previous five sessions.

On the positive side, energy stocks made gains after US benchmark crude West Texas Intermediate (WTI) rose 1.9 percent from a twelve-year low to trade at 31.01 USD a barrel on January 13. WTI had dropped 18 percent since the end of last year before the increase on January 13.

Leading energy stocks such as PetroVietnam Gas Corporation (GAS), PetroVietnam Drilling and Well Services Corporation (PVD), and PetroVietnam Technical Services Corporation (PVS) added 0.9 percent, 2.7 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.

The two local markets traded more than 169 million shares worth 2.2 trillion VND (96 million USD), an increase of 6.2 percent from January 12, but less than 2015's daily average of 2.5 trillion VND (109.17 million USD).-VNA