Shares made only modest gains on the HCM Stock Exchange Oct. 7, on sluggish trading totalling just 36.5 million shares, worth only 977 billion VND (50 million USD).

The VN-Index closed up just 0.29 percent to 462.05 points after reaching as high as 467 points earlier in the session.

Heavy purchases by foreign investors in many blue chips helped lift some shares, such as software giant FPT, developers Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAG), Masan Group (MSN) and Vincom (VIC), insurer Bao Viet Holdings (BVH) and Phu My Fertilisers (DPM), but decliners outnumbered advancers overall by 163-58.

Foreign investors accounted for over half of overall market value on Oct. 7, responsible for transactions totalling nearly 11.5 million shares and worth about 473.5 billion VND (24.3 million USD). They were net buyers by a volume of nearly 6.7 million shares and a value of 301.2 billion VND (15.4 million USD).

Beta Securities Co analysts commented that Oct. 7's market gains were entirely due to heavy foreign buys in blue chips and were not sustainable.

Strong fluctuations on the foreign currency market drove several institutional investors to increase securities investments to disperse risk, added analysts from Saigon Securities Inc.

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, which saw less impact from foreign investors, the HNX-Index declined 1.78 percent on the day to close at 122.62.

The volume of trades dropped by 20 percent from Oct. 6's session to about 23 million shares, with a value of nearly 539 billion VND (27.6 million USD).

Losers outnumbered gainers by 208-76, with PetroVietnam Construction (PVX) again being the most-active share on a volume of 2.7 million. PVX closed down 0.44 percent to 22,700 VND (1.15 USD).

Of the 10 leading shares by capitalisation on the northern bourse, Bao Viet Securities (BVS), Tien Phong Plastics (NTP), PetroVietnam Insurance (PVI) and PetroVietnam Technical Services (PVS) rallied.

Dramatic hikes in gold prices and the rising value of the US dollar on the black market has spooked many domestic investors over the stability of the economy, said Bao Viet Securities Co analyst Nguyen Duc Thi.

"There is no positive news currently supporting investor psychology, and the market has not given any signs of a stable uptrend," Thi said./.