VN index advances on energy stocks hinh anh 1Investors at VP Securities Corporation's exchange floor. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnamese shares were mixed on March 14 on the two local exchanges, while energy stocks remained the most important factor to lift the markets.

The benchmark VN Index on the HCM Stock Exchange increased by 0.1 percent to close at 577.98 points, rallying 1.1 percent over a third trading day.

Meanwhile, the HNX Index on the Hanoi Stock Exchange inched down 0.1 percent to finish at 80.00 points. The northern index had gained 1.2 percent in the previous three sessions.

Energy stocks extended rallies on recent gains in global crude prices, remaining the most important factor in lifting markets, Bao Viet Securities Corporation (BVSC) wrote in its daily report.

London-traded Brent crude on March 11 closed last week’s trading at 40.39 USD a barrel, an increase of 4.3 percent from the previous week, and US benchmark crude West Texas Intermediate (WTI) jumped 7.2 percent during last week to close at 38.50 USD a barrel.

Among local energy stocks, PetroVietnam Gas Corporation (GAS) inched up 0.2 percent, while PetroVietnam Drilling and Well Service Corporation (PVD) and PetroVietnam Coating Corporation (PVB) added 1.1 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively.

However, crude prices moved into negative territory during March 14 session after Iran refused to join an agreement on freezing production until it restores its pre-sanction output level. WTI fell 2.1 percent to trade at 37.69 USD a barrel and Brent crude dropped 1.6 percent to trade at 39.73 USD a barrel.

Additionally, steel makers also helped drive the markets up following a circular issued early last week by the Ministry of Industry and Trade to increase tax on imported steel products and protect local producers.

Steel maker Hoa Phat Group (HPG) and Vietnam-Italy Steel JSC (VIS) jumped 4.2 percent each, while Hoa Sen Group (HSG) was up 1.2 percent.

Other stocks that also rose included sugar producer Thanh Thanh Cong Tay Ninh JSC (SBT), HCM City Infrastructure Investment JSC (CII), TNG Investment and Trading JSC (TNG) and food and beverage producer Masan Group (MSN), which rose 6 percent, 1.2 percent, 2.8 percent and 2 percent, respectively.

MSN also recorded a negotiation-based deal, which was worth 3.1 trillion VND (137.8 million USD), which helped the markets trade nearly 231 million shares worth 5.82 trillion VND (259 million USD) – the highest trading value in the last six years.

On the opposite side, financial companies weighed on the markets, led by Saigon-Hanoi Bank (SHB), Military Bank (MBB), the Asia Commercial Bank (ACB), insurer Bao Viet Holdings, HCM City Securities Corporation (HCM) and Saigon Securities Incorporation (SSI).-VNA