Market falls after investors get jittery over U.S. recession

After a one-day pause, Vietnam’s major stock market in Ho Chi Minh City resumed its downward trajectory on Tuesday as investors reacted nervously to news about the U.S. recession.

The VN-Index, the gauge of 167 leading firms and four closed-end funds, lost 7.26 points, or 2.31 percent, to close at 307.45.

Trading volume was dull, with 8.8 million shares exchanging hands, compared with more than 10 million on Monday.

An HCMC-based analyst, who asked not to be named, said the news about the U.S. recession hit sentiment hard. “The government’s cut in retail gasoline prices on Monday didn’t stop the sell-off trend,” he said.

The U.S. economy slipped into recession in December 2007, the nation's business cycle arbiter declared on Monday, and the downturn could be the worst since World War II Reuters reported.

Vietnam’s government on Monday cut fuel prices for the third time in less than a month, in reaction to the continued fall of world oil prices.    

Southern Seed Joint Stock Co. (SSC) dropped VND100, or 1.27 percent, to close at VND78,000. The food firm said on the exchange’s website that Citigroup Global Market Ltd. and Citigroup Global Market Financial Products Ltd. sold 40,750 shares to cut their combined stake to 11.99 percent from 12.41 percent.

DHG Pharmaceutical Joint Stock Co. (DHG) rose VND2,000, or 1.71 percent, to close at VND119,000. Citigroup Global Market Ltd. and Citigroup Global Market Financial Products Ltd. also reduced their combined stake in the drug maker to 5.98 percent from 6.11 percent by selling 26,410 shares, according to a report on the exchange’s website.

Saigon Beverages Joint Stock Co. (TRI), known as Tribeco, fell VND200, or 2.5 percent, to close at VND7,800. The firm informed the exchange that Citigroup Global Market Ltd. sold 223.830 shares to cut its stake to 2.94 percent from 5.9 percent.

Materials-Petroleum Joint Stock Co. (COM) slid VND1,600, or 4.62 percent, to close at VND33,000. The fuel producer announced it will pay a cash dividend of 6 percent. It will go ex-dividend on December 11.

Hanoi’s stock market also retreated on Tuesday, with the HaSTC-Index edging down 0.49 point, or 0.47 percent, to finish at 103.48.

Reported by Thieu Gia

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