Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

 

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam’s benchmark VN Index marginally surpassed the record high of 1,170 points on March 22 as energy stocks remained upbeat and insurers and agriculture firms performed strongly as well.

The VN Index on the HCM Stock Exchange edged up 0.26 percent to end at 1,172.36 points, posting a nine-day increase of 4.3 percent in total.

The benchmark index narrowed its growth from the intraday gaining pace of 0.94 percent, which helped the VN Index rise to the 1,180-point level.

More than 233.3 million shares were traded on the southern bourse, worth 6.63 trillion VND (294.7 million USD).

However, the trading condition was quite negative as declining stocks outnumbered gainers by 172 to 116 and 56 others ended flat.

Rising oil prices and growing energy stocks remained the most important factors that boosted the benchmark index over its former all-time high of 1,170 points.

Though Brent crude returned to the negative territory on March 22, down 0.5 percent, it has gained a total of 4.6 percent in the last three days.

The slight decrease of oil prices on the day was attributed to an increase in US oil output, which threatened to undermine efforts to tighten the market.

Recent gains in oil prices were caused by a surprise decline of US crude inventories and the ongoing supply cut led by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Energy stocks on the HCM Stock Exchange continued to outperform. PetroVietnam Gas (GAS) surged 5.2 percent and PetroVietnam Drilling and Well Services (PVD) was up 2.5 percent.

Following the energy sector were the insurance, agriculture and IT industries, led by insurer Bảo Việt Holdings (BVH), Hoàng Anh Gia Lai (HAG) and its agricultural arm HAGL Agrico (HNG).

On the opposite side, the benchmark index suffered strong investor selling when it touched the intraday peak of 1,180 points.

Profit-taking hit securities firms, banks, healthcare and pharmaceutical firms, retailers and rubber producers.

The worst decliners among those stocks were HDBank (HDB), Vietcombank (VCB), BIDV Securities Co (BSI), VNDirect Securities (VND), DHG Pharmaceutical JSC (DHG), Domesco Medical Import-Export JSC (DMC) and digital retailer Mobile World (MWG).

The VN Index is forecast to encounter strong profit-taking pressure from investors as it has now reached a new peak and the index may move within the range of 1,170-1,180 points, it said.

The minor HNX Index on the Hanoi Stock Exchange went down 0.68 percent to close at 134.04 points, totalling a two-day decline of 0.9 percent.

The UPCOM Index on the Unlisted Public Company Market (UPCoM) fell 0.41 percent to 60.39 points. It has lost a total of 2.3 percent in the last four sessions.-VNA