Vietnam index slides 0.5 pct at midday ahead of holidays
HANOI, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Vietnam's VN Index edged down 0.54 percent at Tuesday's break on short falls of some blue chips as local investors pulled money out of the market ahead of next week's Lunar New Year holiday. The index climbed to its highest in more than four years on Monday after gaining for 12 straight sessions, Reuters data showed. Some investors were taking quick profits from large stocks, the main gainers in recent weeks, said Tran Thang Long of BIDV Securities. Food producer Ma San Group dropped 3.03 percent and PetroVietNam Gas, Vietnam's largest listed firm, fell 1.29 percent. Domestic traders were selling equities prior to the Tet holiday, when Vietnam's financial markets will be closed from Jan. 28 to Feb. 5, Long said. But some blue chips were still of interest by foreign investors, including exchange-traded funds Market Vectors Vietnam and db x-trackers FTSE Vietnam as their premiums had increasing recently, Long said. Analysts also said political turmoil in Thailand has also prompted investors to shift attention towards Vietnam. Here is a snapshot of the VN Index at midday (0431 GMT). VN Index 550.68 PREV. CLOSE 553.67 % CHANGE -0.54% HIGH 555.83 LOW 547.65 Change (%) 1-mnth 9.757 Change (%) 3-mnth 10.551 Change (%) 1-year 21.911 52-week high 559.93 20-Jan-14 52-week low 440.48 23-Jan-13 (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Martin Petty)
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