Shares advanced last week, boosted by large-cap stocks on both national stock exchanges.

The benchmark indices regained its previous week's high, with the VN-Index on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange seen adding 3.2 percent to reach 578.82 points while the HNX-Index adding 1.67 percent to reach 77.58 points.

Gains of large-cap stocks such as Vingroup (VIC), Masan Group (MSN) and PetroVietnam Gas Corporation (GAS), along with Hoa Phat Group (HPG) and BIDV (BID) helped the VN-Index to open higher this week after tumbling throughout the previous week ending June 20. However, cautious investors dragged down market liquidity.

The benchmark index was on solid ground throughout the week despite the sudden hike in petrol prices on June 24.

Trading volume and value were seen improving in June 26 trading with the trading volume and value, respectively, 45 and 46 percent higher than the average figures of the week due to the rise of speculative stocks, coupled with more stable blue chips.

However, on June 27, short-term trading by investors caused the speculative stocks to have a mixed day while large-cap stocks continued to support the market and advance. Investors were cautious as market liquidity returned to a low level.

On an average, about 84.9 million shares worth an average 1.39 trillion VND (66.1 million USD) changed hands on the southern bourse per session, which was about 20 percent lower than the previous week.

On the Hanoi Exchange, the HNX-Index lost on June 23 and 26, but showed gains during the rest of the week's trading sessions.

An average 47.9 million shares worth 556.9 billion VND (26.5 million USD) were traded per session.

Foreign investors purchased a net 385 billion VND (18.3 million USD) shares last week. They traded heavily on the two last trading days of the week and on the Hanoi Stock Exchange.

On Hochiminh Stock Exchange, they bought a net 365.4 billion VND (17.4 million USD) shares with the focus on Gemardept Corporation (GMD), Vietcombank (VCB) and Da Nang Rubber Corporation (DRC).

On Hanoi Exchange, they bought heavily into PetroVietnam Technical Services Corporation (PVS), Sai Gon - Ha Noi Bank (SHB) and VNDirect Securities (VND).

According to FPT Securities, the market might encounter rising profit-booking pressure this week and tumble while approaching the 580 point circuit-breaker, as a result. The company urged investors to prioritise the holdings of stocks which promised better second quarter business results.

Bao Viet Securities said that the market trend in the short term remained unclear amid potential risks. The company said that there were opportunities for investors to buy cheap stocks for medium term, rather than short-term trading.

Stock analysts said that the strong resistance band of 580 points would continue to challenge investors' psychology this week while the announcement of business results for the first half of this year would add to the expectations.-VNA