Shares ended lower with sluggish trading on both national stock exchanges last week as investors displayed a cautious psychology due to their receiving mixed information.

The VN-Index on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange lost an accumulative 1.04 percent to end August 1 session at 593.9 points, while the HNX-Index on the capital city's bourse dropped 0.52 percent to 79.01 points.

Both bourses witnessed falling liquidity reaching alarmingly low levels, according to VietstockFinance, with trading volume by matching having declined 17.4 percent over the previous week, to 361.2 million shares on the southern bourse and 15.1 percent, to a modest 174.7 million shares on the northern exchange.

An average 76.9 million shares were traded per session, at an average trading value of 1.39 trillion VND (65.5 million USD) on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange, respectively 17 percent and 12 percent lower than the previous week.

The average trading value on the Hanoi Stock Exchange fell by 25 percent to 421 billion VND (19.8 million USD) on the exchange, at an average 36.3 million shares per day.

Also, large-cap stocks largely affected the benchmark indices' gains or losses last week.

The market showed little reaction to recent petrol price cuts, opening last week with losses after a sell-off occurred on a large scale before rebounding on July 29.

Stock analysts said the gains on July 29 were only a technical rebound, as the benchmark indices were mainly reliant on blue chip stocks to post gains and trading remained sluggish during the session.

Additionally, the news that Moody's raised Vietnam's credit rating did not have a large impact on the market, as trading remained sluggish with low liquidity through August 1. Even news on July 31 that the benchmark indices, fuelled by blue chips, had ended higher did not have an impact on the market.

Also, foreign investors finished as net buyers of 92 billion VND (4.4 million USD) on both bourses last week, if the net selling of 475 billion VND (22.4 million USD) of Vingroup (VIC) was excluded.

On the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange, foreign investors bought into Hoa Phat Group (HPG), Sacom Investment and Development Corporation (SAM), World Mobile Investment Corporation (MWG), PetroVietnam Drilling Corporation (PVD), Bao Viet Holdings (BVH) and PetroVietnam Gas Corporation (GAS), while selling VIC and Masan Group (MSN).

Many stock analysts provided negative technical views of the market this week, saying that the benchmark indices might continue to fall.

Ban Viet Securities noted that both benchmark indices would challenge 580 points and 77.5 points this week, warning investors to reduce buying activities while lowering the holdings of stocks in their portfolios.

According to Bao Viet Securities, technically, the market rebound was of a low possibility, saying that the market might encounter losses or end flat this week, regardless of gains from blue chips.

Stocks would continue to be divided by corporate earnings to be released during this week. However, the impacts would not be huge, according to Tran Duc Anh, a stock analyst from Bao Viet Securities.-VNA