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Interest, inflation weigh on shares

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1 Interest, inflation weigh on shares on Mon May 23, 2011 8:28 pm

HA NOI — Stocks lost value on meagre trading last week on the nation's stock exchanges.

On the HCM City Stock Exchange, the average volume of trades was approximately 20 million shares, about 85 per cent of the preceding week's figure, and the average daily value only reached VND447 billion (US$21.3 million), plummeting 25 per cent.

Meanwhile, an average of 22.7 million shares were traded per day on the Ha Noi Stock Exchange, worth a daily average of VND290 billion ($13.8 million).

The VN-Index ended the week down by 1.5 per cent from the previous Friday, closing at 479.67 points. The three first sessions saw gains driven by advances of a handful of major shares, including insurer Bao Viet Holdings (BVH), food producer Masan Group (MSN) and PetroVietnam Finance (PVF). The group of leading shares by capitalisation rose 2.5 per cent, while others plunged.

In Ha Noi, the HNX-Index fell 0.8 per cent over the course of last week to close on Friday at 82 points. Most stocks during the week oscillated within a narrow range, and trading volume remained low.

The main cause for the current market doldrums, according to analysts Ho Ba Tinh and Nguyen Quang Minh on the financial information website vietstock.vn, was the weakening of cash flows caused by high interest rates. But crude oil and other commodities on the world market last week were traded at lower costs, helping ease inflationary pressures, Tinh noted.

The most information expected to effect the domestic markets this week is the release of May inflation figures.

"The HNX-Index is approaching its low during 2008-09, which might be a signal for a rally," the analysts said.

The director of brokerage for MHB Securities Co, Hoang Thach Lan, said that it was not easy to predict how the stock market would go this week.

"The market may have to wait until the end of the month, when May inflation figures are published, to make any assessment," Lan said. "I believe that the consumer price index in May will rise at a rate not lower than in April, while electricity rates and petrol prices have not yet seen their last increases." — VNS

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