VN stocks to rise on quarterly reports
Vietnamese shares are set to rise this week as investor confidence remains high on companies' quarterly performances and the country's economic prospects, while a three-day rebound in crude prices is expected to lead energy firms up.

Workers operate a production line at Dong Nai Casumina Factory of the Southern Rubber Industry JSC (Casumina). Rubber and rubber-made product makers are expected to provide positive business reports for the third quarter.

"Though the market had a slight decrease on the two local exchanges Friday due to profit-taking by investors after the VN Index approached the 690-point level, it still showed positive signals for improvement this week," said Vu Minh Duc, head of market analysis at Viet Capital Securities JSC (VCSC).

The VN Index would go up this week but the gain could be bouncy because the range of 695 to 700 points was a hard one to achieve, he said.

Both local market indexes ended higher this week despite Friday's slight fall, beating previous negative forecasts by stock analysts following the previous five-day gain.

The benchmark VN Index on the HCM Stock Exchange was down 0.4 per cent on Friday from a nine-day rally of 5.7 per cent to close at 685.73 points, up 1.7 per cent from the previous week.

The southern market index last week reached the highest level in the past eight years and also the longest gaining streak since the beginning of the year.

The northern HNX Index on the Ha Noi Stock Exchange inched down 0.1 per cent from a three-day increase of 2.4 per cent to close the week at 85.00 points, gaining 2 per cent week on week.

"This week, investors will look forward to companies announcing quarterly business reports," Duc said.

With positive changes on global commodity prices since the beginning of this year, "companies that have applied good policies on their sales and stockpiles such as steel, plastic and rubber could announce higher results for the third quarter," he said. "Automobile manufacturers and dealers may also become attractive."

Investors could also turn their focus to listed companies in the education sector on expectations that those stocks performed well in the latest quarter, Hoang Thach Lan, an analyst said.

"Education-related companies, including book publishers, normally do business very well and reach their highest results in the third quarter," Lan said, adding that "the price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio for those stocks is only 4-5, which is worth considering for investors."

Vietnamese schools often prepares students for the new semester in July and August and officially open in early September, requiring parents to spend a huge amount of cash on school equipment.

"But investors need to think carefully because these stocks have very low trading liquidity."

Oil and gas firms, seaport operators and hydropower companies may also be options for investors as they could benefit from higher crude prices and positive changes in the weather, he said.

Global crude prices registered a three-day increase after the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on Thursday agreed to a first output cut in eight years, promoting attempts to push prices up to save the producers.

US crude West Texas Intermediate closed last week at US$48.24 a barrel, jumping 8 per cent after three sessions. London-traded Brent crude jumped more than 9 per cent during the same time to end last week at more than $50 a barrel.

"Oil prices could remain above the range of $45-50 a barrel until the end of this year, which brings a positive outlook on Viet Nam's energy sector," Lan said.

Such strong surges are expected to lead local energy stocks up as they are quite sensitive to the changes in global crude prices. Those include PetroVietnam Gas Corp (GAS), PetroVietnam Drilling and Well Services Corp (PVD) and PetroVietnam Technical Services Corp (PVS).

Investors last week traded more than 172 million shares in each session, worth VND3.53 trillion ($157 million). The daily trading volume was almost flat from the previous week, but daily trading value was down 8.3 per cent. 


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