Asian stocks were rattled by the news of the crash of a Malaysian Airlines jet on the Ukraine-Russia border, but Vietnam's stock market remained unaffected.

Both the national benchmark indices closed higher with improving liquidity.

The VN-Index ended July 18 session at its highest level of the day, adding 5.89 points or as much as 1 percent to close at 596.26 points.

The market saw great improvement in liquidity, with more than 144.3 million shares changing hands, worth 2.52 trillion VND (119 million USD), 50 percent and 78 percent higher respectively than the previous trading session.

The gains made by the blue chips helped lift the benchmark index. The VN30-Index, which tracks the performance of the southern bourse's 30 largest stocks by capitalisation and liquidity, advanced 1.45 percent to end at 645.52 points.

The FPT Corporation (FPT), in particular, soared 6.6 percent to reach its ceiling price of 52,500 VND (2.4 USD) per share after TechInsider on July 17 reported that Apple was acquiring FPT Corporation. However, a FPT leader rejected the information on July 18.

Previously, Bloomberg News reported that Apple, iPhone's manufacturer, was tapping FPT to roll out retail outlets in major cities as part of a regional push for its products amid competition from Samsung Electronics.

The other big gainers included Vinamilk (VNM), Da Nang Rubber Corporation (DRC) and PetroVietnam Drilling Corporation (PVD) among 14 others.

Five codes in the VN30 package fell marginally on July 18, including PetroVietnam General Services Corporation (PET) and PetroVietnam Low Pressure Gas Distribution (PGD), while eight codes remained unchanged.

FLC Group (FLC) was the most heavily-traded stock on the southern bourse with a significant 26.6 million shares changing hands, followed by the Hoang Quan Corporation (HQC) and FPT Group (FPT) with 11.4 million shares and 3.98 million shares being traded respectively.

On the Hanoi Exchange, the HNX-Index added 0.37 percent to land at 81.14 points, while the HNXFF-Index, comprising stocks with a minimum free float rate of 5 percent, rose 0.39 percent to close at 81.42 points.

The HNX30-Index, tracking the top stocks, ended 5.3 percent higher to finish at 165.68 points.

Nearly 44 million shares changed hands on the capital city's bourse, worth 557 billion VND (26.4 million USD), slightly higher than the previous trading session.

While foreign investors ended up as net sellers of 27.17 billion VND (1.2 million USD) worth of shares on the southern bourse, they were net buyers of 34.72 billion VND (1.6 million USD) worth of shares on the Hanoi Exchange on July 18.

The foreign investors' activity helped consolidate the local market sentiment, although the downing of a Malaysian Airlines plane caused international stocks to end lower, according to FPT Securities.-VNA