Photo shows investors at Saigon Securities Inc’s stock trading platform (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - The VN Index on the HCM Stock Exchange extended losses for a second session on February 17 as large-cap stocks remained negative on investors’ profit-earning.

The benchmark stock index inched down 0.2 percent to close at 707.83 points, totaling a two-day loss of 0.5 percent.

After three gaining sessions and two declining ones this week, the southern market index closed up 0.6 percent compared to last week.

Market liquidity declined from the previous day’s levels with more than 166 million shares being traded, worth 3.54 trillion VND (157.6 million USD).

Half of the stocks in the VN30 basket, which tracks the performance of the 30 largest stocks by market capitalisation and trading liquidity, were down.

Those included dairy producer Vinamilk (VNM), brewer Sabeco (SAB), Vietcombank (VCB), Vietinbank (CTG) and PetroVietnam Gas Corp (GAS).

SAB fell 0.3 percent, VCB dropped 0.8 percent, CTG decreased by 2.1 percent and GAS edged down 0.7 percent, VNM 1.5 percent and the market also saw foreign investors offload their stake in the largest dairy producer after net-buy the stock in 28 consecutive days.

Steelmakers were also hit by profit-earning. Hòa Phát Group (HPG) lost 0.9 percent and Hoa Sen Group (HSG) was down 0.1 percent.

“The second-day fall of the VN Index came after the benchmark index conquered the resistance level of 710 points on February 15, triggering a short-term profit-earning from investors,” BIDV Securities Corp (BSC) said in a note.

The money was directed from large-cap stocks like VNM and VCB to other stocks in different sectors as investors were waiting for more attractive investment opportunities, BSC said.

“Cautious investor sentiment also lowered market trading liquidity compared to February 16, as investors were waiting for the chance to buy stocks at lower prices.”

On the opposite side, some stocks struggled to maintain their positive runs. For example, real estate and agriculture group Hoàng Anh Gia Lai (HAG) closed up 2.7 percent, reversing from the negative dimension in the morning.

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX Index finished up 0.3 percent at 85.88 points following a drop of 0.8 percent on Thursday.

The northern market ended this week 0.2 percent lower than last week’s closing level. Nearly 48.9 million shares were traded on the northern bourse, worth 445 billion VND.-VNA