Vietnam’s stocks fall, investors cautious hinh anh 1An investor follows market fluctuations at Saigon Securities' trading floor (Photo: VNA) 

Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnamese shares retreated on both local markets on March 29 as investors cautiously awaited speeches given by the US central bank on the interest rate outlook this year.

The benchmark VN Index on the HCM Stock Exchange pulled back 1.3 percent to close trading at 568.28 points, ending a two-day gain of 0.9 percent.

The HNX Index on the Hanoi Stock Exchange dropped 0.8 percent to finish trading at 79.79 points.

Investor confidence fell before the US central bank’s officials reported on the country’s economic data and interest rate outlook, which are expected to signal more rate hikes for this year.

Low investor confidence brought down the financial sector, including banks, insurance companies and securities firms.

The insurance and securities companies that declined included insurer Bao Viet Holdings (BVH), HCM City Securities Corporation (HCM), Sai Gon Securities Corporation (SSI) and VNDirect Securities Corporation (VND).

These stocks slumped two percent, 3.9 percent, 2.3 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively.

Among banks, Vietcombank (VCB) dropped 1.9 percent, the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BID) dropped 1.7 percent, and Vietinbank (CTG) lost 1.8 percent.

Those banks also declined on lower investor confidence after Vietnam’s central bank on March 28 asked them to stop signing new contracts - as of March 31 - with all low-income earners who receive loans from the housing stimulus package worth 30 trillion VND (1.3 billion USD) to buy and rebuild houses, Bao Viet Securities Corporation (BVSC) wrote in its daily report.

That dragged down property developers such as FLC Group (FLC), Tan Tạo Investment Industrial JSC (ITA) and Nam Long Investment Corporation (NLG), which fell 1.5 percent, two percent and 0.9 percent.

Additionally, markets were dragged down by the energy sector as oil prices fell for a fourth trading day on forecasts that US stockpiles will increase to keep supplies at the highest level during the last eight decades.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) on March 29 lost 1.6 percent to trade at 38.76 USD a barrel, and London-traded Brent crude was down 2.1 percent to trade at 39.44 USD a barrel.

WTI and Brent crude have fallen 6.5 percent and 5.6 percent, respectively, in the last four trading sessions.

Among energy stocks that helped drag markets down, PetroVietnam Gas Corporation (GAS), PetroVietnam Drilling and Well Service Corporation (PVD), PetroVietnam Technical Service Corporation (PVS) and PetroVietnam Mud Drilling Corporation (PVC) slumped between 3.6 percent and 4 percent.

Both local markets traded more than 219 million shares worth nearly 3.2 trillion VND (142 million USD), an increase of nearly 20 percent from the March 28 trading value.-VNA