The benchmark indices went in opposite directions on both national exchanges last week, as the market witnessed an improved liquidity after some exchange-traded funds (ETFs) completed restructuring of their investment lists.

On the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange, the VN-Index closed the week 0.3 percent lower at 504.45 points, while the HNX-Index on the northern bourse gained 1.9 percent to 67.5 points.

According to, the restructuring of the investment lists of two ETFs did not have a large impact on the market last week. However, investors showed caution, which resulted in low liquidity levels during the start of the trading week.

The domestic petrol price hike on December 18 did not seem to affect the market significantly, and liquidity improved on the last two trading days of the week as the ETFs completed their restructuring.

On the northern bourse, the trading volume averaged 90.411 million shares, with an average trading value of 1.473 trillion VND (70.14 million USD).

The trading value reached a high level on Friday, as 142.42 million shares were traded at a total value of 3.03 trillion VND (144.7 million USD), which is twice the average of the bourse's weekly trading value.

The VN-Index managed to increase on Tuesday and Thursday, but the increases failed to support the benchmark index to close higher at the end of the week.

On the northern bourse, an upward trend was maintained until Thursday, but the trend reversed on December 20. An average of 316.628 million shares changed hands, while average trading value was 483.07 billion VND (23 million USD).

During the past trading week, there were signs of recovery in speculative stocks from the real estate and construction sectors, such as the FLC Group (FLC), An Duong Thao Dien Real Estate (HAR), Viet-Han Corporation (VHG), Petroland (PTL) and Hoang Quan Real Estate (HQC). These stocks witnessed strong increases during the week and attracted cash investments from investors.

Foreign investors took turns at being net sellers and net buyers during the past week. On December 20, in particular, foreign investors became net buyers of shares valued at 735.5 billion VND (35.02 million USD), in particular, strongly buying shares of Vinacafe Bien Hoa (VCF).

HCM City-listed real estate giant Vingroup (VIC) lost up to 7 percent last week. According to Vietstock Finance, the decline was due to the net selling of a total of 63.8 billion VND (3.038 million USD) by foreign investors as a result of the ETFs' restructuring.

According to FPT Securities, the restructuring of the ETFs generated strong selling pressure for bluechips on December 20, causing the benchmark indices to decline on both the national stock exchanges.

Real estate sector stocks were in the limelight last week, according to Bao Viet Securities, which noted there were no signs, however, that the trend would continue over the long term. It added that opportunities only existed for real estate companies that successfully implemented debt restructuring schemes.

Bao Viet Securities also forecast that stocks of gas companies and securities firms would be potential leaders of the next wave of stock gains.

The US Federal Reserve's move to taper its stimulus package by 10 billion USD a month to 75 billion USD is forecast to benefit Vietnam's economy in the long term since it is a large trading partner in general, and the stock market, in particular, through foreign capital inflows, according to stock analysts.-VNA