Vietnam stocks fall the most in 4 weeks as inflation accelerates

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Vietnamese stocks fell, with the benchmark index dropping the most in four weeks, after inflation accelerated at the fastest pace since May 2012.

The Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange's VN Index (VNINDEX) retreated 1.8 percent to 495.28 at 10:51 a.m. local time, poised for the sharpest decline since June 25. Joint-Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam tumbled 1.8 percent, the most since July 1. Bao Viet Holdings, the country's biggest listed insurer, dropped 2 percent, poised for a second day of losses.

Consumer prices rose 7.29 percent this month from a year earlier, according to data released by the General Statistics Office in Hanoi today. That compares with the median 7.1 percent estimate of six economists in a Bloomberg survey.

"Inflation figures were higher than expected and people are afraid that prices may continue rising next month, when the recent increase in gasoline prices will be fully reflected," Giang Trung Kien, Hanoi-based head of research at FPT Securities Joint-Stock Co. said by phone.

Vietnam National Petroleum Corp., known as Petrolimex, the country's biggest fuel retailer, raised prices of its most commonly used 92-RON gasoline by 1.9 percent on July 17.

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