BizLIVE - Vietnam’s major stock indexes went up for eight consecutive days as investors picked up select blue-chips on expectation for upbeat economic readings to be announced soon; however, the key gauge failed to conquer the all-time record.
Vietnam Shares Gain for 8th Straight Day, But Fail to Break All-time High
Movements of the VN Index on March 21. Chart: Bloomberg
The benchmark VN Index of the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange gained 9.97 points, or 0.865, to settle at 1,169.36, off the intraday high of 1,172.31. Selling pressure amounted when the index surpassed the historic record at 1,170 set in March 2007.
Buying was strong at major large-cap stocks such as financials including BIDV (BID), Bao Viet Holdings (BVH), Sacombank (STB), Hoa Phat Group (HPG), Vingroup (VIC) and FLC Faros (ROS). Gains in oil and gas stocks such as PV Gas (GAS) and PV Drilling (PVD), buoyed by sharp increases in global crude oil, provided support to the market.  
Volume remained heavy with 237.67 million shares worth 7.32 trillion dong ($322.5 million), compared to 217 million shares valued at 6.32 trillion dong on Tuesday. Blue-chips were the main drivers when the VN30 Index rose 1.15%, the highest among the indexes on the HOSE.
Foreign investors net bought 208.25 billion dong on the HOSE, mainly in VIC, HPG, GAS, Saigon Securities (SSI) and Masan Group (MSN).
After the VN Index broke the historic high in the morning, several heavyweights such as Vinamilk (VNM), Vietcombank (VCB) and Vincom Retail (VRE) lost steam, causing the main gauge to end below the all-time high, said MB Securities in a note to clients.
The VN Index is likely to re-test the resistance threshold of 1,170, MB Securities analysts predicted.
Investor sentiment may become more cautious in the current territory and corrections might take place but will likely be short-lived as fundamentals still support bulls in the medium term, said Artex Securities.
The government is due to release data for economic growth in the first quarter this year, which could come at 7.41%, according to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

TUAN MINH