Both of the nation's stock markets continued to decline on May 24, with the VN-Index dropping 3.7 percent to close at just 402.59 points. Only 13 codes on the HCM Stock Exchange posted gains, while 243 fell.

The value of trades rose over May 23's session by 11.7 percent, however, reaching 703 billion VND (33.5 million USD), with 39 million shares exchanged.

FPT Securities Co analysts said that the dramatic fall of the VN-Index continued to be primarily caused by plunging blue chips and real estate stocks. Of the 10 leading shares by capitalisation, only Sacombank (STB) remained unchanged, while over half bottomed out, including Phu My Fertilisers (DPM), software giant FPT (FPT), finance group Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAG), food producer Masan Group (MSN), PetroVietnam Finance (PVF) and real estate developer Vincom (VIC).

Saigon Securities Inc (SSI) was also the most-active share with 3.1 million traded. Stock exchange figures showed that SSI, HAG and Refrigeration Electrical Engineering (REE), although all hitting their floor prices, stood in the top five in terms of volume.

"It was because investors were panicking and wanted to sell off shares, as there was no major information from any of these companies to affect the attitudes of investors," said ACB Securities Co analyst Tran Thi Hai Yen.

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index also plunged by an additional 3.5 percent on May 24 to close at 71.88 points. Decliners outnumbered advancers on the northern bourse by 269-23, although the value of trades climbed 3 percent over the previous session to 365.8 billion VND (17.4 million USD), on a volume of 35.2 million shares.

Kim Long Securities (KLS) saw the brisking trades, with 3.5 million shares changing hands, while a few securities and banking shares such as KLS, Habubank (HBB) and Bao Viet Securities (BVS) attracted significant demand, the financial information website noted.

Foreign investors continued to be net sellers in HCM City and net buyers in Hanoi on May 24. On the southern bourse, they sold nearly 4 million shares worth 134.4 billion VND (6.4 million USD), while they bought a net of 8.3 billion VND (395,200 USD) worth of shares in Hanoi .

Hanoi-based analyst Dinh Hung Linh predicted that the market retraction would continue for the medium term. /.