The benchmark index fluctuated above and below its opening of 873.67 points throughout the trading day before inching ahead at the end.
According to analysts, although news of Russia moving forward with its Covid-19 vaccine tests have been propping up market sentiment, the fluctuations show that investors get more cautious every time the VN-Index rises, expecting market corrections, especially with Asia-Pacific indices showing mixed results this session.
While China’s Shanghai Composite closed 0.61 percent positive and Australia’s ASX All Ordinaries added 0.26 percent, Japan’s Nikkei 225 shed 0.35 percent, South Korea’s KOSPI dropped 1.05 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped 0.83 percent.
The Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE), on which the VN-Index is based, saw 241 stocks rise and 147 fall. Total trading volume was VND6.24 trillion ($269.7 million), well above last month’s daily average of VND4.5 trillion per session.
Investors continued to target mid- and smaller- capped stocks, as they have done for the last two weeks. On Thursday, over 61 percent of trading volume went to tickers outside the VN30, the basket of HoSE’s 30 biggest caps.
Brokerage Bao Viet Securities wrote in its latest report that it expects cash to continue moving towards mid-capped tickers with strong individual financials, especially in sectors like industrial zones and building materials which has traditionally attracted strong cash flows in the past.
The VN30-Index gained 0.27 percent this session, with 16 tickers gaining and 8 losing.
Topping gains in this group was FPT of IT services giant FPT, up 3 percent, followed by PLX of petroleum distributor Petrolimex, 2.7 percent, and MWG of electronics retailer Mobile World, 1.8 percent.
STB of Sabcombank and VPB of VPBank, both private lenders, followed with 0.9 percent each. REE of appliances maker Refrigerated Electrical Engineering and TCH of truck dealer Hoang Huy Group gained 0.8 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.
Of Vietnam’s three largest state-owned lenders by assets, CTG of VietinBank edged up 0.2 percent, VCB of Vietcombank kept its opening price and BID of BIDV slipped 0.6 percent.
Most real estate developers were in the green this session. Apart from TCH, ROS of FLC Faros gained 0.4 percent, KDH of Khang Dien House and NVL of Novaland both added 0.2 percent, while VHM of Vinhomes, the largest one by market cap, topped losses with 1.3 percent.
VIC of Vietnam’s biggest private conglomerate Vingroup and VRE of its retail subsidiary Vincom Retail remained flat.
Major losing tickers this session included VJC of budget carrier Vietjet Air, down 1 percent, SAB of major brewer Sabeco and GAS of energy giant PetroVietnam Gas, both down 0.7 percent.
Meanwhile, the HNX-Index for the Hanoi Stock Exchange, home to mid- and small-capped stocks, gained 0.83 percent, and the UPCoM-Index for the Unlisted Public Companies Market added 0.91 percent.
The UPCoM, in particular, has been rising for all but two sessions in the past month. This market is effectively a mezzanine exchange for the HoSE and HNX with lower disclosure requirements to encourage trading of unlisted shares.
Foreign investors continued to offload Vietnamese stocks this session, with a net sell value of VND252 billion ($10.89 million) on all three bourses. VHM of Vinhomes and VNM of dairy giant Vinamilk, which gained 0.1 percent, were the most net sold stocks.