Shares extended losses for a second straight day on both stock exchanges as investors continued to sell shares amid fears of further declines.

The VN-Index on the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange closed down 1.31 percent at 583.85 points, the biggest loss in three weeks. On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index plunged 3.3 percent to 86.49 points.

A total of nearly 288 million shares and fund certificates worth a combined 4.2 trillion VND (199 million USD) were traded on the two bourses on April 1.

More and more investors hesitated to buy shares at high prices, which made many shares lose value. Up to 440 of the 683 shares declined and 100 fell to their floor prices. Only 80 shares posted gains, most of which were small- and mid-cap shares.

On the HCM Stock Exchange, blue chips continued to weigh on the market as only three of the top 30 shares by market value and liquidity rose while 26 declined. The VN30 went down 1.54 percent to end at 660.13 points.

The largest insurer in Vietnam, Bao Viet Holdings (BVH), was the biggest loser with a drop of 4.2 percent to 43,200 VND (2.05 USD).

The HNX30, which tracks the top 30 shares on the Hanoi bourse, also sank 3.92 percent to 176.78 points.

Tan Tao Investment Industry Corp (ITA) was the most active stock nationwide on total trades of 21.2 million shares. ITA plunged 6 percent to 9,500 VND a share, the low price of 10 days ago which attracted investors to bargain.

According to analysts of FPT Securities Co, the selling pressure was not strong and weak demand could not help the market sustain the rising momentum. Furthermore, long net selling by foreign investors, especially concentrating on large-cap stocks, affected domestic investors' psychology.

Foreigners started to buy in again, concluding April 1 as net buyers on both exchanges with a total net value of 101 billion VND (4.8 million USD) worth of shares.

"However, such a small value did not have much of an impact on the market trend. The risk of capital withdrawal from Market Vectors Vietnam (VNM) ETF still exists," analysts of FPT Securities Co wrote, noting that the value of the fund certificate on the New York Stock Exchange dropped for three consecutive days in the past week.-VNA