Shares tumbled as stock exchanges reopened after the five-day holiday, with the benchmark VN-Index on the HCM Stock Exchange losing 0.3 percent to close at 473.02 points on April 2.

MayBank Kim Eng Securities Co analyst Phan Dung Khanh said that May is usually a bad month for domestic stock markets.

"In addition, after the rise from late last year to March this year, investors have been unloading shares," he added.

Although the market this month remains bleak, Khanh said there will be opportunities in the long term. Investors are still buying at low prices, unlike a few years back when shareholders can not sell even at the floor price, he said, adding that it indicates that investors hold shares for the long run.

Despite the slight fall, the May 2 session saw gainers outnumber losers by 86-68.

Although market value increased 25.3 percent over the April 26 session, trading remained sluggish with just 25.8 million shares changing hands, totalling a value of 606.86 billion VND (28.8 million USD).

Transactions via the negotiation method accounted for over 40 percent of the previous day’s total value, or around 264 billion VND (12.5 million USD). Foreign investors negotiated 1.44 million MSN shares in private equity group Masan, worth more than 150 billion VND (7.1 million USD); 1.4 million PetroVietnam Gas (GAS) shares worth 71 billion VND (3.3 million USD) and about 999,000 VFMVF1 fund certificates worth 14.5 billion VND (690,470 USD).

The VN30, which reflects the performance of the bourse's leading shares, also declined 0.2 percent to 536.25 points. The 30 shares tracked by the index were mixed, but most of them retreated. Only four blue chips managed to gain.

Meanwhile on the Hanoi Stock Exchange, trading of stocks sent the HNX-Index down 0.1 percent to reach 58.30 points.

Trading value dropped a significant 62 percent to 106.4 billion VND (5 million USD) as only 14.67 million shares were exchanged.

The HNX30, composed of the northern exchange's top shares, also failed to retain gains to slide 0.2 percent to 108.06 points.-VNA