Vietnam’s stocks up as financial firms eye Fed hinh anh 1Investors track their stocks in Maybank KIM ENG floor in HCM CIty. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnamese shares on February 4 rose on both local exchanges amid low trading volume, led by the financial sector on expectations that US central bank will not raise interest rates at its March meeting.

The benchmark VN Index on the HCM Stock Exchange was up 0.6 percent to close at 542.15 points. The southern index has gained 1.1 percent in the last two days.

The HNX Index on the Hanoi Stock Exchange increased 0.7 percent to end at 76.32 points, rebounding from a three-day decline of 1.4 percent.

Local stock markets were boosted by a raise in US stocks on the previous day as investors expected the US central bank will not likely hike its rates in March given that the economy showed signs of slowing in January.

Meanwhile, Vietnam's central bank cut the reference mid-point rate for its exchange trading band by 21 VND to 21,876 VND for a US dollar with a limit of 3 percent on either sides for local banks to decide their trading rates.

Insurance companies, banks and brokerage firms helped boost the markets. Insurer Bao Viet Holdings (BVH) gained 0.8 percent, Vietcombank (VCB) and Saigon Securities Incorporate (SSI) leapt 1 percent each, and Vietinbank (CTG) rose 1.2 percent.

Local energy stocks continued to benefit from an increase of global crude prices as analysts were expecting a successful agreement between the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC crude producers to cut their production and boosting the prices.

The local energy sector index rose 1.4 percent, led by PetroVietnam Drilling and Well Services Corporation (PVD), PetroVietnam Technical Services Corporation (PVS) and PetroVietnam Mud Drilling Corporation (PVC), which rose 2.3 percent, 2.2 percent and 3.9 percent, respectively.

Market liquidity fell sharply from February 3 as investors were not likely to make many further investments in the stock markets this week ahead of the Tet holiday. Both markets traded about 89 million shares worth 1.26 trillion VND (56.3 million USD), a decrease of 24 percent from the previous session's value.-VNA