Shares lost in Ho Chi Minh City on December 18, while maintaining an upward trend in Hanoi as investors remained cautious over the market.

On the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange, the VN-Index slightly decreased by 0.08 percent to 505.25 points.

Investors remained cautious, however, as selling pressures remained strong during the morning session.

More than 62.33 million shares changed hands, with a total value of 915.56 billion VND (43.59 million USD).

The VN30-Index, tracking the southern city's top shares by capitalisation and liquidity, gained a modest 0.06 percent to reach 566.27 points, although losers outnumbered gainers by 13-9.

Also, blue chips were not active enough to support the benchmark index. Vinamilk (VNM) lost 1,000 VND (0.047 USD) to finish at 138,000 VND (6.5 USD) per share and Kinh Do (KDC) lost 500 VND (0.023 USD) to 51,000 VND (2.4 USD) per share.

Other losers included insurance company Bao Viet Group (BVH), Vietinbank (CTG), MB Bank (MBB), Ocean Group (OGC) and Vinh Son Song Hinh Thermoelectric Plant (VSH), as all lost 100 VND (0.0047 USD) per share.

The VN30-Index received support from the gains of real estate giant Vingroup (VIC), PetroVietnam Drilling (PVD), PetroVietnam Fertilisers and Chemicals (DPM), Gemardebt (GMD), FPT Group (FPT), Ree Corporation (REE) and Vietcombank (VCB).

Overall, 94 stocks managed to increase, in comparison to 113 decliners.

According to FPT Securities, the dreary transaction on December 18 was due to investors being impacted by information that the State Bank of Vietnam would not extend the deadline to apply the Circular 02/2013/TT-NHNN about asset classification and extraction for risk prevention.

On the Hanoi Exchange, the benchmark index maintained its upward trend, as liquidity eased.

The HNX-Index advanced 0.12 percent to 66.95 points, and the HNXFF-Index, composed of stocks with a minimum free-float rate of 5 percent, lost 0.03 percent to 66.99 points.

The total value reached 219.35 billion VND (10.44 million USD) on the exchange of 32.8 million shares. The HNX30-Index of the capital city's 30 largest shares gained 0.32 percent to 127.16 points.-VNA