Investors during a session at the Saigon Securities Inc’s office in Hanoi (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNS/VNA) - Vietnamese shares declined on February 8 as investors showed little confidence amid the current volatility of the global markets and the sharp fall in crude prices.

The benchmark VN Index on the HCM Stock Exchange dropped 1.66 percent to close at 1,023.25 points. It gained 2.86 percent in the previous session.

The HNX Index on the Hanoi Stock Exchange was down 2.24 percent to end at 116.94 points, retreating from its 3.45 percent growth on February 7.

The UPCOM Index on the Unlisted Public Company Market (UPCoM) edged down 0.53 percent to finish on February 8 at 56.46 points. The unlisted market index jumped 3.3 percent in the previous session.

More than 241.8 million shares were traded on the three local exchanges, worth 5.68 trillion VND (252.7 million USD).

Trading figures on February 8 were down 22.8 percent in volume and 27.3 percent in value compared to February 7.

The market trading condition was ruled by declining stocks, which were dominant over gainers by 369 to 266, while 143 other stocks ended flat.

Large-cap stocks returned to the negative territory as 24 of the 30 largest ones by market capitalisation in the VN30 Index suffered from investors’ sell-off pressure.

According to Bao Viet Securities Company (BVSC), investors were quite cautious and concerned about the possibility of a market bull-trap, in which the market shows a false signal of increasing but continues to decline.

Such caution increased the selling pressure while investors were also unwilling to open their cheques as the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday was coming, making trading liquidity decline from the previous day, BVSC said in its daily report.

The Hanoi-based securities firm forecast that trading liquidity may improve in the next sessions but the stock market would need more time to balance and settle down before showing a clearer direction for the near future.

Sell-off pressure pulled down 15 of the 20 sectors on the stock market on February 8 with the worst-performing sectors being banking, energy, brokerage, real estate and agriculture, data on vietstock.vn showed.

Among the industries that suffered from investors’ selling pressure, energy stocks were hit by the current downward trend of crude prices.

Brent crude has lost about 6.6 percent in the past one week to trade at 65.06 USD a barrel on February 8. Gas and oil stocks on the Vietnamese market that suffered included PetroVietnam Gas (GAS), PetroVietnam Drilling and Well Services (PVD) and PetroVietnam Technical Services (PVS).
The agriculture sector was brought down by negative trading of two firms – Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAG) and its sub-unit HAGL Agrico (HNG). The two firm shares hit their daily declining limit of 6.9 percent each.

The two firms have been warned that their listing on the HCM Stock Exchange may be cancelled if they fail to submit their 2017 financial reports on time. The two firms had been previously warned of delisting twice for the same reason in 2015 and 2016.-VNA