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Gloomy economic picture keeps market on downtrend   2008-05-23 - VNS

Investors grumble as the VN-Index falls for the 14th consecutive day. — VNS Photo Truong Vi

The HCM City Stock Exchange ended its fourteenth consecutive day of very low liquidity and dropping values, with the VN-Index sliding another 7 points to close at 434.75 points, a loss of 1.58 per cent.

Volume continued to be depressed, with 7.7 million shares traded for a total value of about VND456.7 billion (US$28.5 million). Of 154 codes, three were gainers, 145 losers and 6 codes unchanged.

HCM City Infrastructure Investment Joint Stock Co (CII) edge up slightly to VND24,000 per share after the company announced its intention to buy back 500,000 shares. HCM City Metal (HMC) rose a measly VND300 to end the day at VND19,400, while Southern Seed Co (SSC) was the final gainer, closing at VND29,700.

Blue chips, meanwhile, continued to hit the floor.

Ending the trading session yesterday, Phu My Fertilisers (DPM) was the most active share with 483,000 traded.

Quang Tung, an investor with Vietcombank, said in the context of global economy struggling with high inflation, slowing growth and oil prices that hit $135 a barrel yesterday morning, everything seemed to be getting worse.

In addition to rapidly rising input costs, many domestic companies have had to postpone new projects this year due to tightening credit from commercial banks.

The gold market, meanwhile, has continued to draw short-term investors away from stocks. Yesterday, world gold prices rose to $933.2/ounce. In Viet Nam, gold surged to over 18.6 million ($1,163) per tael and prices were expected to remain high in the coming days. (A tael is equivalent to 1.2 ounces).

Over the last few trading sessions, foreign investors have accounted for 40 per cent of the market’s daily trading volume.

In Ha Noi yesterday, the HASTC-Index closed at 130.35, a loss of 2.4 points, with 481,000 shares changing hands for total value of VND12.3 billion ($768,000).

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