VN Index falls for a second day hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnamese shares on March 21 declined on both local markets, driven down by energy companies and food and beverage producers.

The benchmark VN Index on the HCM Stock Exchange dropped 0.6 percent to close at 572.27 points. The southern index fell 1.2 percent over the last two sessions.

The HNX Index on the Hanoi Stock Exchange was down 0.4 percent to finish at 80.30 points, ending a three-day rally of 1.2 percent.

The energy sector suffered losses as global oil prices on March 21 slipped for a second day after US producers increased their number of active drilling rigs for the first time in three months.

US benchmark crude West Texas Intermediate (WTI) dropped 0.8 percent to trade at 39.14 USD a barrel. Meanwhile, London-traded Brent crude fell before inching up 0.2 percent to trade at 41.28 USD a barrel.

Among local energy stocks, PetroVietnam Gas Corporation (GAS) lost 2.6 percent, PetroVietnam Drilling and Well Service Corporation (PVD) fell 1.9 percent, and PetroVietnam Mud Drilling Corporation (PVC) slid 2.7 percent.

The food and beverage sector was pulled down by dairy firm Vinamilk (VNM) and instant food producer Masan Group (MSN).

VNM slipped 2.2 percent on profit-taking as the stock gained 2.2 percent last week. MSN was down 2.1 percent, extending its fall of 6.7 percent in the last five trading days.

The banking sector also helped drag the markets down. Military Bank (MBB) declined by 0.7 percent after the bank on Friday announced it raised the number of voting shares.

Saigon-Hanoi Bank (SHB), Eximbank (EIB) and the Asia Commercial Bank (ACB) dropped 1.5 percent, 1 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.

Other stocks that also declined included Hoang Quan Consulting-Trading Service Real Estate Corporation (HQC), Quang Nam Rubber Investment JSC (VHG) and insurer Bao Viet Holdings (BVH). HQC and VHG fell 4.8 percent each and BVH lost 1 percent.

On the opposite side, Vietcombank (VCB), An Phat Plastic and Green Environment JSC (AAA) and the Telecommunication Industry Electronics JSC (TIE) rose to bolster the markets.

VCB added 0.9 percent and AAA increased by 0.6 percent after both firms announced they will allow foreign investors to raise their ownership in the two firms, and TIE surged 6.2 percent after Saigon Industry Corporation (CNS) successfully sold its 50 percent stake in the company.

Both local markets traded nearly 224.7 million shares worth more than 3.24 trillion VND (144.2 million USD), a decrease of 16.6 percent from last week’s daily trading value.-VNA