Shares continued to retreat on Feb. 13 on profit-taking, closing the first session of this week down on both national stock exchanges with over 55 percent of codes losing value, led by blue chips.

"It's clear that investors are selling to take profits," an analyst of FPT Securities Co wrote on the company's website, adding that it could be a "mixed blessing as it may generate a new wave of buyers or it may send the downward spiral deeper."

He believed cash flows will be injected into the market but that most cash holders will rather wait because they wanted to buy at lower prices.

Investors and analysts are closely monitoring this correction phase as they believe if money flows continue to pour into the market in the coming sessions, the market will soon rebound. But analysts also warn it is difficult for the market to surge on a lack of economic supporting information.

On the HCM Stock Exchange, the VN-Index slid 2.34 percent to finish previous session at 395.54 points. Market volume declined 31 percent from Feb. 10 to just 34.5 million shares, worth 679.3 billion VND (32.3 million USD).

Blue chips slumped with nine stocks of the VN30 hitting the floor prices, while the VN30 Index lost 2.62 percent over Feb. 10 to finish at 446.23 points.

Bank shares, the impetus behind last week's gains, all lost ground on Feb. 13. Vietinbank (CTG) and Sacombank (STB) dropped to their floor prices, while Eximbank (EIB) – the most active share with a volume of 1.76 million shares traded – was down 4.4 percent; Military Bank (MBB) closed off at 6.8 percent; and Vietcombank (VCB) lost 1.6 percent.

Only Phu My Fertiliser (DPM) bucked the trend, gaining 1.4 percent to close at 28,900 VND (1.38 USD). DPM posted a net profit of 3.1 trillion VND (147.6 million USD) in 2011, and its cash-on-hand reached over 4 trillion VND (190.5 million USD) by the end of last year.

The benchmark HNX-Index on the Hanoi Stock Exchange concluded on Feb. 13 at 61.04 points, down 2.63 percent over last week close, with decliners overwhelming advancers by a factor of four to one.

Trading value remained low at 272.2 billion VND (13 million USD) with 32.3 million shares changing hands.

Bank shares also lost ground on the Hanoi bourse. Hanoi Housing Bank (HBB) and Sai Gon-Hanoi Bank (SHB) plunged to the floor while Asia Commercial Bank (ACB) also slid 5.1 percent.

VNDirect Securities (VND), the most heavily-traded stock nation-wide with 4.37 million shares exchanged, also bottomed out at 7,100 VND.

Foreign investors concluded on Feb. 13 as net buyers on both exchanges, picking up a combined 63.3 billion VND (3 million USD) worth of shares. /.