A trader works on her computer at Tan Viet Securities JSC in Ha Noi. – Photo Doan Tung

Vietnamese shares were saved on Monday despite investors’ unwillingness to buy while a strong comeback of oil prices helped lift the petroleum sector.

The benchmark VN-Index on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange gained 0.42 per cent to end at 918.12 points.

The benchmark index lost total 1.14 per cent last week.

The HNX Index on the Ha Noi Stock Exchange was up 0.35 per cent to close at 103.37 points.

The northern market index fell nearly 2.6 per cent last week.

“It was weak sentiment that kept both indices below par the whole time on Monday before bouncing back in the last hour,” Sai Gon-Ha Noi Securities JSC (SHS) said in a note.

“The reason for Monday’s decline was the bad performance of US stocks later last Friday, which worried investors in Viet Nam,” SHS said.

The market breadth was negative with 193 stocks gaining, 231 declining ones and 115 ending unchanged.

As many as 156.5 million shares were traded on the two local exchanges, worth VND3.1 trillion (US$138.2 million).

Monday’s trading figures were much lower than those recorded on Friday and lower than last week’s daily averages.

Investors had been forecast to be unwilling to buy into stocks given the lack of supportive news from both local and global markets, analysts said last week.

The blue-chip VN30 Index finished up 0.29 per cent at 888.20 points.

Nearly half of the 30 largest stocks by market capitalisation in the VN30 basket advanced, while 12 declined.

Among the decliners in the VN30 basket were steel producer Hoa Sen (HSG), Coteccons Construction Corp (CTD), budget carrier Vietjet (VJC) and food and beverage firm Masan (MSN).

Brent crude on Monday moved up nearly 1 per cent to trade at $70.86 a barrel.

Petroleum stocks are widely expected to lead the market’s upturn in the last two months of the year on forecasts of higher oil prices after falling off in the last one month.

Petroleum stocks that made gains included PetroVietnam Gas (GAS), PetroVietnam Mud Drilling (PVC) and PetroVietnam Technical Services (PVS).

The benchmark VN-Index is forecast to remain volatile on Tuesday between 920-925 points with expectations it may go down to 915 points, SHS said. – VNS

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