The Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE), on which the VN-Index is based, was a sea of red with 385 stocks losing and only 69 gaining, out of which 18 hit their lower circuits. Total trading volume jumped over 15 percent compared to the previous session, to VND16.6 trillion ($722.13 million).
The benchmark index saw modest losses at the start of the session, but began sliding by 10 a.m. as an influx of sell orders piled in. At 10.20 a.m., the VN-Index was down 17.11 points, or 1.52 percent, to 1,109.8 points.
By 11.20 a.m., the index had lost 47.7 points (4.22 percent) to 1,079.1 points, with several blue chips at floor price. News of new Covid-19 cases in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, profit taking pressure after last week’s gains, and investors cashing out before the upcoming break had caused selling pressure to mount, analysts noted.
Vietnam’s stock exchanges will close from Wednesday, February 10 until the end of Tuesday, February 16, for Lunar New Year (Tet), Vietnam’s biggest national holiday.
It was not until the end of the morning session that bottom fishing cash flow began to partially offset declines, narrowing the loss to 35 points, or just over 3 percent.
The VN-Index virtually plateaued in the afternoon session, but sporadic freezes in trading, a phenomenon that has appeared in the past month due to overloads of orders on the HoSE trading system, hampered a potential recovery of the VN-Index.
The VN30-Index for the stock market’s 30 largest caps shed 3.78 percent, with 27 stocks losing and 3 gaining.
The biggest loser this session was TCH of real estate developer Hoang Huy Group, down 6.9 percent, its floor price.
Stocks in the Vingroup family were also some of the worst performers. VIC of parent private conglomerate Vingroup, HoSE’s largest cap, plunged 6 percent, while VRE of retail arm Vincom Retail and VHM of real estate arm Vinhomes were down 5.5 percent and 4.6 percent respectively.
State owned banks also fared poorly, with VCB of Vietcombank down 5.9 percent, CTG of VietinBank 4.9 percent, BID of BIDV 4.1 percent, and MBB of mid-sized Military Bank shedding 3.4 percent.
Of private banks STB of Sacombank fell 4.9 percent, TCB of Techcombank 3.6 percent, HDB of HDBank and VPB of VPBank both 2.7 percent, and TPB of TPBank with 1.9 percent.
Other major losing stocks included KDH of real estate developer Khang Dien House, down 5.3 percent, MSN of food conglomerate Masan Group, 4.5 percent, BVH of insurance giant Bao Viet Group, 4.3 percent, and POW of electricity generator PetroVietnam Power, with 4.3 percent.
In the other direction, PDR of real estate developer Phat Dat Real Estate, REE of appliances maker Refrigeration Electrical Engineering, and SBT of agricultural exporter TTC-Sugar gained 1.5 percent, 0.9 percent and 0.2 percent respectively.
Indices for the Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX), home to mid- and smaller-caps, and the Unlisted Public Companies Market (UPCoM) dropped 1.38 percent and 1.68 percent respectively.
Foreign investors ended a streak of eight consecutive net buying sessions by offloading a net of VND1.4 trillion on all three bourses, the biggest net sell seen in nearly half a year, with the nine most net sold stocks being tickers on the VN30.