Shares ended lower on both national stock exchanges on August 1, as selling pressure intensified in afternoon trading.

The VN-Index on HCM City Stock Exchange lost 0.36 percent to end at 593.9 points, and the HNX-Index on the northern bourse slid 0.31 percent to 79.01 points.

With caution psychology seen throughout the market, trading remained sluggish during the session.

More than 65 million shares changed hands on the southern bourse on August 1, worth a modest 1.3 trillion VND (61.3 million USD), roughly the same as in the previous session, which also witnessed low-paced trading.

Meanwhile, the VN30-Index, tracking the southern bourse's largest stocks by capitalisation and liquidity, fell 0.32 percent to 635.01 points, with decliners overwhelming advancers by 16-10.

Losses from market pillars such as Vinamilk (VNM), Masan Group (MSN), PetroVietnam Gas Corporation (GAS) largely dragged down the VN-Index, while gains from Bao Viet Holdings (BVH) and Vingroup (VIC) mainly helped narrow the day’s loss.

Only 84 codes on the southern bourse managed to advance, while 124 codes lost value and 69 others tread water.

The northern bourse saw liquidity slightly improving over the previous trading session, with 41 million shares changing hands, valued at 456.5 billion VND (21.5 million USD), 40 percent and 25 percent higher than July 31, respectively.

Among the northern bourse's pillars, only PetroVietnam Construction Corporation (PVX) managed to add 200 VND (0.0094 USD) per share, rising to 4,500 USD (0.21 USD). Also, the HNX30-Index tumbled 0.44 percent to end at 157.72 points.

According to FPT Securities, the benchmark indices remained reliant upon blue chips to gain or lose in recent trading sessions. This did not reflect any of the market's solid trends. The exhausted capital inflow was also a major factor hindering the recovery of the market, according to FPT Securities, adding that investors remained reluctant to join in the market.

Further, FPT Securities urged investors to maintain low holdings of stocks in their portfolios. After two consecutive trading days with net selling, foreign investors returned to net buying of 321,640 shares and 21.98 billion VND (1.03 million USD).-VNA