Vietnam’s stocks down on lower oil prices hinh anh 1An investor watches share movements in the floor of Vietcombank Securities Co. (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA)Vietnamese shares fell on both local exchanges on March 15 as energy stocks weighed on the markets and as oil prices continued to fall.

The benchmark VN Index on the HCM Stock Exchange retreated 0.7 percent to close at 574.04 points, ending a rally of 1.1 percent over the previous three sessions.

The HNX Index on the Hanoi Stock Exchange dropped 0.5 percent to finish at 79.63 points, extending its decline of 0.5 percent for a second day.

Local energy stocks declined as oil slid for a second day after Iran appeared unlikely to join a coalition led by Russia and Saudi Arabia on a production freeze to bolster prices until the country restores its pre-sanction oil output level.

US benchmark crude West Texas Intermediate (WTI) on March 15 lost 2.7 percent to trade at 36.18 USD a barrel, and London-traded Brent crude declined by 2.8 percent to trade at 38.43 USD a barrel.

WTI has fallen 6 percent in the last two days and Brent crude has slipped 4.9 percent during that period.

Local energy stocks recorded heavy falls during March 15 session. Among the biggest declines, PetroVietnam Gas Corporation (GAS) slumped 3.6 percent, PetroVietnam Drilling and Well Service Corporation (PVD) slid 4.9 percent, and PetroVietnam Mud Drilling Corporation (PVC) dropped 3.9 percent.

Energy stocks will likely continue to drag the markets down tomorrow unless there is positive information that brings oil prices up again, which is unlikely to happen, Saigon-Hanoi Securities Corporation (SHS) wrote in its daily report.

Meanwhile, low investor confidence helped push financial stocks into negative territory as investors waited for the US central bank's meeting this week, which is expected to keep interest rates unchanged and provide a clear schedule for rate hikes in the future.

Among financial stocks, Bao Minh Insurance Corporation (BMI) lost 2.4 percent, BIDV Insurance Corporation (BIC) fell 2.5 percent, the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BID) slid 1.2 percent, Sacombank (STB) dropped 1.9 percent, and HCM City Securities Corporation (HCM) lost 1.6 percent.

The property sector declined on forecasts that the revised Circular 36, which aims to reduce the limited loans a bank can make, will create negative effects for property developers.

The property sector was led down by FLC Group (FLC), Vingroup JSC (VIC), Sao Mai Group Corporation (ASM), and Phat Dat Real Estate Development JSC (PDR), which fell 1.5 percent, 0.9 percent, 1.1 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively.

Local markets combined traded nearly 226.4 million shares worth 3.2 trillion VND (143 million USD), a decrease of 45 percent from March 14's trading value.-VNA