Vietnam's stock markets opened the first trading day of the new year on a high note on the HCM Stock Exchange, but the Hanoi bourse registered a decline.

In HCM City , gains in value by Masan Group (MSN) and Bao Viet Holdings (BVH) helped lift the VN-Index by 0.27 percent over Dec. 31 to finish at 485.97 points.

While BVH climbed to its highest allowed trading band of 5 percent, MSN also soared 4 percent.

However, both market volume and value fell 50 percent to almost 29.6 million shares worth just 741.9 billion VND (35.3 million USD).

Advancers outnumbered decliners by 120-102.

Transport Engineering Construction and Business Investment Co 584 (NTB), on a volume of 1.89 million shares changing hands, became the most active stock on the southern bourse. It finished at the ceiling price of 18,000 VND (0.86 USD).

In Hanoi , the HNX-Index declined 0.74 percent to close at 113.4.

The volume of on Jan. 4's trade reduced by over 66 percent to just 23 million shares worth 459.1 billion VND (21.9 million USD).

Losers outnumbered gainers by 154-120.

Most blue chips declined in value, except PetroVietnam Technical Services (PVS) and Kim Long Securities (KLS), with the latter being the most heavily-traded share nationwide on a volume of 2.14 million exchanged.

Foreign investors concluded on Jan. 4 as net buyers on both exchanges, picking up just 1.7 million shares worth a combined 37 billion VND (1.8 million USD)./.