Shares lost ground on the HCM Stock Exchange despite earlier gains on April 23, while positive economic data helped lift stocks on the Hanoi bourse.

Inflation in April inched up by only 0.05 percent over March, the slowest rate since March of 2009, the General Statistics Office announced on April 23.

"However, April 20's 4.1 percent increase in petrol prices and rising healthcare costs have given cause for serious concern about next month's inflation rate," wrote Kim Eng Securities Co analysts.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade also announced on April 23 that the trade deficit this month is estimated at 400 million USD, marking its lowest point as a percentage of export turnover in a decade.

Information also reached investors on April 23 that the State Securities Commission is preparing measures to boost stock market liquidity beginning June, including an extension in afternoon trading hours to 3pm. A transaction-plus-three-days (T+3) settlement period was also being considered, it was revealed.

On the HCM Stock Exchange, the VN-Index closed the day at 465.17 points, a 0.12 percent decline from April 20. The value of trades reached just 1 trillion VND (47.6 million USD) on a volume of 66.4 million shares.

The VN30 Index decreased slightly to 533.60 points, as such major shares tumbled as insurer Bao Viet Holdings (BVH), Vietinbank (CTG), food processor Masan Group (MSN), Vietcombank (VCB), Sacombank (STB) and software giant FPT.

Meanwhile, some other blue chips were able to post gains, including real estate developers Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAG), Vincom (VIC) and Becamex Infrastructure (IJC), and financial conglomerate Ocean Group (OGC), as well as food processor Hung Vuong (HVG) which hit its ceiling price.

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index edged up by 0.08 percent to 77.81 points. Losers edged gainers by a margin of 127-122. But the value of trades dropped 30.3 percent from the previous trading session’s level to just 611.1 billion VND (29 million USD) as volume reached only 55.9 million shares.

While the market was still sinking into some corrections, Kim Eng analyst Dang Thi Kim Thoa suggested investors hold onto shares of vegetable oil producer Trang An (TAC). In the last two months, TAC has increased 60 percent higher than the VN-Index overall following acquisition rumours involving Masan Group..

"This factor plus the good valuation of the stock are the fundamentals for our recommendation," Thoa said.-VNA