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Vietnam index up 0.15 pct at midday, strong liquidity

HANOI, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Vietnam's benchmark VN Index inched up 0.15 percent at the break on Wednesday on extended buying demand, with a high trading volume.

Petrovietnam Drilling and Well Services Company led the gains, with shares climbing 3.92 percent, followed by food producer Masan Group that advanced 0.54 percent.

Volume reached 99 million shares by midday, compared with a five-day average level of 142 million shares, according to Reuters data.

Optimism over the macro economic outlook have boosted demand from existing investors and attracted newcomers, said analyst Nguyen Hoang Phuong at Ho Chi Minh City Securities.

Foreign investors extended purchasing, partly thanks to the premium over the net assets value of the Market Vectors Vietnam exchange-traded fund, which allowed it to raise money for further investment in Vietnamese shares, Phuong added.

Here is a snapshot of the VN Index at the close (0801 GMT).

VN Index 575.42 PREV. CLOSE 574.56 % CHANGE 0.15% HIGH 578.8 LOW 573.86 Change (%) 1-mnth 5.697 Change (%) 3-mnth 13.442 Change (%) 1-year 16.32 52-week high 576.18 14-Feb-14 52-week low 459.64 27-Feb-13