Shares failed to retain their momentum from the December 23 rally and stumbled on December 24 as selling pressure increased.

On the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange, the VN-Index lost 0.6 percent and slipped to 505.62 points.

The trading value also dropped 13.8 per cent from December 23 session to 1.25 billion VND (58,900 USD), with 91.4 million shares changing hands.

Most of the 30 blue chips tracked by the VN30 Index retreated, pulling the index 0.55 percent lower to finish at 562.85 points.

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the benchmark HNX-Index pared earlier gains to slide 0.27 percent to 68.12 points.

Only indices that track mid- and small-cap stocks and the manufacturing sector managed to post gains.

Meanwhile, large-cap stocks dragged the HNX30 Index 0.34 percent lower to 129.47 points.

As 73.8 million shares changed hands, trading value on the bourse reached a total of more than 625.4 billion VND (29.5 million USD), jumping 41.6 percent from the previous trading day.

Foreign investors continued to be net buyers on both bourses by a combined margin of 56.1 billion VND (2.6 million USD).

"The short-term decline of the VN-Index has not stopped and the market, in the absence of supportive information, is not strong enough to create a sustainable rally," said Bao Viet Securities Co's analyst Nguyen Xuan Binh.

"We maintain a cautious stance as there was no compelling reason for the increase in the price of the leading shares over the past week."

In addition, the gains in the HNX-Index over the past two weeks have increased risks as the index is approaching its medium-term resistance level, he added.

However, according to FPT Securities Co, investors could buy shares with strong fundamentals with the expectation that companies will deliver positive financial results.-VNA