More than 70 percent of listed stocks and fund certificates lost points on April 18, which sent the VN-Index of HCM Stock Exchange into 1.19 point fall.

The index retreated to close at 455.46 points, with 212 out of 288 listed stocks and fund certificates sliding.

Trading volume is 21.6 percent higher than the previous session on April 15, with 29.8 million shares worth 578.6 billion VND (27.6 million USD) changing hands.

Saigon Securities Inc (SSI) is the most active with 1.6 million shares traded after the company posted a loss of nearly 102 billion VND (4.9 million USD) in the first-quarter post-tax profits. SSI tumbled 4.23 percent to 20,400 VND.

Among the 10 largest capitalised shares, Eximbank (EIB) and VietinBank (CTG) closed unchanged, only insurer Bao Viet Holdings (BVH) registering a 0.7 percent gain to 76,500 VND) while the others declined.

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index closed down 1.69 percent on Friday to 86.49 points. Trading volume is 13.7 percent higher than April 15, hitting 25.6 million shares worth almost 353.5 billion VND (16.8 million USD).

Losers outnumbered gainers by 250-49.

Kim Long Securities (KLS) is the most active stock on the Hanoi bourse with 2 million shares changing hands. It closed unchanged at 9,600 VND.

Foreign investors balanced the selling and buying volume in the southern market. They bought and sold nearly 2.5 million shares each. They were also net buyers in the northern bourse by picking up 4,600 shares.

Mekong Securities analysts said that retail investors were becoming increasingly depressed as the market seemed dead, with trading volume declining and both indexes slipping marginally on a daily basis.

"Online stock forums are shadowed with pessimism, and there are complaints that the Vietnamese stock market won't provide any major opportunities this year and suggesting investors should leave the market now," they said in their market report.

The VN-Index would probably have another dive to its support level of 450 points and the HNX-Index may fall to the support level of 88 points.

Investors should then consider buying more stocks, some experts said. /.