The VN-Index fell for a fourth day in a row on March 17, dropping 0.66 percent to close at 460.53 points, led by heavy declines in insurer Bao Viet Holdings (BVH) and financial conglomerate Masan Group (MSN).

Both BVH and MSN – two of the most influential stocks on the HCM Stock Exchange – dropped by almost 5 percent, the maximum they can fall in a single session.

Trading value on March 17 decreased slightly to 816 billion VND (38.9 million USD) on a volume of 36 million shares.

Decliners narrowly outnumbered advancers by 106-103.

Blue chips gains cushioned the fall, however. Vietinbank (CTG) hit its ceiling price and PetroVietnam Finance (PVF) closed up 2.8 percent, while property developers Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAG) and Vincom (VIC) and steel producer Hoa Phat Group (HPG) were up around 1.8 percent.

CTG was also the most active stock on March 17 with around 4.3 million shares changing hands, of which foreign investors accounted for 62 per cent. In total, foreigners have bought a net 8 million CTG shares this week.

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index rose 0.43 percent to finish at 92.38 points.

Market value reached nearly 520.6 billion VND (24.8 million USD) with 32.65 million shares traded, an increase of 15 percent in value and 11 percent in volume compared with the previous trading session's figures.

Gainers outnumbered losers by 163-102.

PetroVietnam Construction (PVX) was the most heavily-traded stock on the northern bourse, with 4.62 million shares changing hands. PVX closed up 3.6 percent at 17,100 VND (0.81 USD).

Foreign investors concluded a third successive net selling session on the day worth 15.3 billion VND (728,600 USD) on the HCM City market, but they remained net buyers on the Hanoi market, picking up 1.6 million shares worth 33 billion VND (1.6 million USD). /.