The benchmark VN-Index on the HCM Stock Exchange passed 400 points on Feb. 2, closing at 401.61, a 2.8 percent rise over the previous trading session.

Blue chips continued to lift the Index as six of the 10 leading shares by capitalisation hit their ceiling prices. Other stocks in the future benchmark index VN-30 also rose sharply, with many hitting the daily increase limit of 5 percent, except Sacombank (STB) which lost 0.5 percent to close at 18,900 VND (0.9 USD).

There were four times more gainers than losers.

Trading value on the southern bourse rose 8 percent over the previous session to 715.3 billion VND (34 million USD), while the volume of trades increased 12 percent to 44 million shares.

"Optimism (but with caution) is replacing the pessimism which prevailed at the end of last year. This is shown with the continued growth of many shares, pulling the indices on both floors up quickly," said Hanoi-based independent analyst Pham Viet Hung.

Hung said many investors believe interest rates will fall in the second quarter, and while the gold and forex markets continues to be closely managed, along with the quiet real estate market, money will flow strongly back into the stock market.

"However, market value remains low on both exchanges which can be a barrier to confirming a sustainable uptrend," Hung cautioned.

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index edged up nearly 3.5 percent to finish at 62.57 points with 253 out of 393 codes posting gains.

Market value climbed 13.4 percent over Feb, 1's session, totalling 270.4 billion VND (12.87 million USD) on a volume of 32.7 million shares.

Kim Long Securities Co (KLS) was the most active stock with around 4.3 million shares changing hands. It reached its ceiling price of 9,600 VND per share.

Foreign investors continued to pour money into Vietnam's stock market as they picked up a combined net buy of 30.7 billion VND (1.5 million USD) worth of shares on both markets on Feb. 2./.