Shares lost ground in Ho Chi Minh City during December 15 trading session and failed to retain the earlier gains in Hanoi.

On the Hochiminh Stock Exchange, the benchmark VN-Index fell 1.08 percent to reach 547.93 points.

The VN30 Index, tracking the city's top 30 stocks, pared the rise gained earlier during the session, closing off 0.89 percent to finish at 603.92 points. Decliners overwhelmed advancers by 18 to 7. Among the decliners, Bao Viet Holdings (BVH), steelmaker Hoa Phat (HPG), Kinh Do Confectionery (KDC), Pha Lai Thermalpower (PPC) and PetroVietnam Drilling Services (PVD) dropped 1.9–4.6 percent. Meanwhile, increasing stocks only obtained slight gains.

The total value and volume of trading hit 1.5 trillion VND (70.4 million USD) and more than 84.7 million shares respectively.

The Hanoi Stock Exchange experienced lower losses, with the HNX-Index losing 0.37 percent to end at 84.24 points.

The HNX30 Index, comprising the bourse's 30 leading large-cap stocks, retreated 0.94 percent, reaching 166.40 points.

Trading value stood at 1 trillion VND (46.95 million USD), as investors exchanged more than 66.5 million shares.

Foreign investors were net sellers for six consecutive sessions, selling a net of 62 billion VND (2.9 million USD).

Vietcombank Securities said the sale did not denote a withdrawal from the Vietnamese market but was simply a portfolio restructuring activity.

Other analysts from VietCapital Securities and Vietnam Investment Securities were optimistic about this week's trading.

While VietCapital believed that the VN-Index and HNX-Index would reach 565 points and 85.5 points, respectively, Vietnam Investment claimed that the southern bourse's benchmark could hit 580 points.

However, VietCapital added that short-term investors should not buy shares at this point.-VNA