Vietnam index down 1.5 pct by midday, falls extended

Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:08am EDT

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HANOI, April 16 (Reuters) - Vietnam's benchmark VN Index
 dropped 1.49 percent by midday on Wednesday as cautious
investors offloaded shares following recent falls.
    The index closed at its lowest level in near two weeks on
Tuesday, falling for the fourth consecutive session.
   "Given the lack of supportive information and profits gained
earlier this month, investors have been selling shares to stay
safe," said analyst Tran Minh Hoang at Vietcombank Securities.
    Most stocks lost ground in the morning session, led by
Vietnam's largest listed firm PetroVietNam Gas dipping
1.08 percent.
    Hanoi-based lender Vietcombank fell 2.33 percent
and food producer Masan Group Corp lost 2.07 percent.
    But the index is unlikely to drop below 560 points as
bargain hunting around this level is expected to be strong,
Hoang said.
    Here is a snapshot of the VN Index at midday (0431
GMT).
                 VN Index       577.33           
              PREV. CLOSE       586.09           
                 % CHANGE       -1.49%           
                                                 
                     HIGH       585.51           
                      LOW       575.67           
                                                 
        Change (%) 1-mnth         -1.8           
        Change (%) 3-mnth        11.28           
        Change (%) 1-year       22.097           
                                                 
             52-week high       609.46  25-Mar-14
             52-week low        462.13  30-Aug-13
 
 (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Anand Basu)
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