Heavy sell-offs on oil and gas shares continued to drag the market down on December 9, with the VN-Index closing at a six-month low.

On the Hochiminh Stock Exchange, PV Gas (GAS) and PetroVietnam Drilling and Wells Service Corp (PVD) declined steeply, with each losing another 7 percent in value, contributing to a 2.86-percent drop in the VN-Index. It closed at 555.31 points.

The entire market felt the large-cap shares' continuing slump, as more than 70 percent of codes saw losses by the end of the session.

The VN30, which tracks the top 30 shares by market value and liquidity, fell 2.58 percent to end at 603.85 points.

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index also fell 3.81 percent to finish the session at 83.85 points, its lowest in the last three months.

Most oil and gas groups plummeted to the floor, including PetroVietnam Technical Services Corp (PVS), PetroVietnam Drilling Mud Co (PVC), PetroVietnam Coating Co (PVB) and PetroVietnam Southern Gas Co (PGS).

"Investor confidence went down because of the enormous loss of oil and gas companies over the past few days at the back of steep price drops in global markets," analysts at FPT Securities Co said on December 9 on the company's website.

However, liquidity improved on the two exchanges, driven by bargain hunting.

Market value jumped over 40 percent in HCM City, totaling nearly 3.195 trillion VND (150 million USD), while the value of trades climbed over 20 percent in Hanoi, reaching 1.24 trillion VND (58.2 million USD).

Speculation is being channeled in realty stocks, which have become the most active stocks on both markets in recent sessions. FLC Group (FLC), Tan Tao Investment Industry Corp (ITA), KLF Joint Venture Global Investment Co (KLF) and PetroVietnam Construction Corp (PVX) each saw between 11 and 18 million shares traded per day.

Foreign investors again concluded as net sellers in the two markets on December 9, but their sales were modest with a combined 8 billion VND (376,000 USD) in net sales in both HCM City and Hanoi.-VNA