Investors lifted market volume and value on the HCM City Stock Exchange on April 26 afternoon, despite stocks faltering towards the end of the session.

In HCM City , the VN-Index settled previous session down 0.56 percent at 470.21 points, although advancers outnumbered decliners by 135-106.

Blue chips tumbled as 20 of the 30 leading shares by market value and liquidity declined, sending the VN30 Index to 538.1 points, down 0.86 percent from April 25.

Market value jumped 35 percent, however, totalling 1.75 trillion VND (83.3 million USD) with 96.3 million shares exchanged.

The market remained upbeat but many investors decided to sell shares to take profits ahead of the holiday next week, FPT Securities Co analysts wrote in a research note.

"Like previous corrections, the profit-taking sales turned out to be buying opportunities for others," they said.

Shares in minerals companies were again the heaviest gainers, with most hitting their ceiling prices on April 25. They included Binh Dinh Minerals (BMC), Nari Hamico Minerals (KSS), Ha Giang Minerals (HGM), Tay Bac Minerals Investment (KTB), Binh Thuan Hamico Mineral (KSA) and TTA2704. Lao Cai Mineral Exploitation & Processing (LCM).

These shares gained a lot since last week, and analysts said that high cash dividends were the main reason for this speculative wave. HGM paid last year's cash dividend at a rate of 80 percent while BMC paid 50 percent.

SACOM Development and Investment Corp (SAM) was still the most active stock on a volume of 4.8 million shares, rising 4.3 percent to end at VND 9,700.

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index lost over 1 percent to close the previous session at 78.74 points. Trading value decreased slightly to 776.6 billion VND (37 million USD) on a total volume of 75 million shares.

Losers edged gainers by a margin of 149-126.

Habubank (HBB) again secured its position as the most heavily-traded stock nationwide with nearly 13.3 million shares changing hands, closing up 1.4 percent at 7,100 VND.

Foreign investors continued to be net buyers on both exchanges, picking up a combined 46.6 billion VND (2.2 million USD) worth of shares.-VNA