The market advanced in the first three sessions of last week, but weakened towards the end of the week as profit-taking pressures increased with the VN-Index moving near the resistance level of 600 points.

On the Hochiminh Stock Exchange, the benchmark VN-Index lost an accumulative 1.12 percent to close at 582.77 points on July 11. The VN30, a tracker of the top 30 shares by market value and liquidity, also declined 0.62 percent to end at 627.10 points.

The petrol price hike early last week did not have a negative impact on the market, as expected, but rising profit-taking pressures pushed the market down.

Stocks were under heavy selling pressure, included blue chips, such as Masan Group (MSN), PV Gas (GAS), Bao Viet Holdings (BVH) and Hoang Anh Gia Lai Co (HAG), along with hot stocks of securities, construction and real estate groups.

Foreign investors also unloaded local shares last week. They were responsible for a modest net sell value of 14.3 billion VND (678,000 USD), the first week of net selling after many consecutive weeks of net buying.

Though liquidity declined in the final sessions, overall market volume increased slightly over the previous week.

The daily trading volume rose 3.6 percent, averaging 113 million shares, and fund certificates were worth 1.73 trillion VND (82 million USD) per session.

According to many analysts, this downward correction was anticipated by investors, as they know the higher the stock indices climb, the stronger the selling pressures become.

"The decline was primarily driven by short-term profit taking and it gave investors opportunities to restructure their portfolios. However, as foreign investors went back to selling shares, it would be more difficult for the market to recover," said Nguyen Van Quy, analyst of FPT Securities Co.

Quy said if nothing unfortunate happened, downtrends would continue in the first sessions of this week, and bounce back when the Index was around 570 points.

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, with one rising session during the total five trading days, the HNX-Index gave up more than 1 percent to end July 11 session at 78.62 points.

Selling pressure focused on speculative stocks, such as PetroVietnam Construction Corp (PVX), Sai Gon Thuong Tin Real Estate Co (SCR), Kim Long Securities Co (KLS) and Sai Gon Hanoi Securities Co (SHS), as these shares gained substantial value during the past period.

Also, liquidity dropped as the daily market volume reached nearly 66 million shares, worth 741.1 billion VND (35.1 million USD), down 8.4 percent from the previous week.

Foreign investors unexpectedly became net buyers here. They picked up combined shares worth 107.2 billion VND (5.1 million USD). Their buys focused on penny stocks such as PetroVietnam Technical Services Corp (PVS), VNDirect Securities Co (VND) and cigarette manufacturer Dabaco Group (DBC).

According to analysts from SHB Securities Co, the market tends to fluctuate in a narrow range in June and July due to a lack of support information during this period.

"The current trend remains upward in the short term, but the market still needs time to accumulate value for a stable rise," they said, noting that the differentiation would happen when companies start to release their first-half corporate earnings results.-VNA