Share prices declined during Oct. 17's session following increased profit-taking.

On the HCM Stock Exchange, the VN-Index shed 0.55 percent to 397 points.

Investors selling shares to make a profit during the market's modest rebound lifted the value of trades up 60.3 percent over the previous day to 890.1 billion VND (42.3 million USD). Trading volume also rose around 43 percent to 59.1 million shares.

Of the 30 largest shares in terms of capitalisation and liquidity tracked by the VN30, seven managed to post gains, two of those hit their ceiling prices – steelmaker Hoa Phat (HPG) and property developer Dic Corp (DIG). However, the rally of these stocks failed to boost the VN30, which finally retreated 0.5 percent to 469.39 points.

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, decliners outnumbered advancers by 101-79, and the HNX-Index slid 0.6 percent to 55.93 points.

Market value reached only 80 percent of Oct. 17's level, or 211.1 billion VND (10 million USD) on a volume of 32.2 million shares.

The HNX30 fell 1.43 percent due to the weak performance of the Hanoi bourse's blue chips, standing at just 105.29 points.

The probability of continuing last month's downward trend is quite high, according to VietDragon Securities Co analysts.

The stock market was "hungry" for an impetus to increase, while the economy's outlook was poor and gold was more attractive, they said. "In addition, we cannot expect much from the business results of companies in the third quarter."

However, the analysts also hoped a long-lasting decline could make the stock market more alluring in the eyes of foreign investors.

According to data collected by securities investment publication Dau tu chung khoan (Securities Investment), foreign investors held nearly five billion shares, or 14.9 percent of all listed stocks on the market, as of October 15.

The value of shares owned by foreigners reached 136.76 trillion VND (6.5 billion USD), accounting for 20.2 percent of the market capitalisation. However, foreign ownership still concentrated on the top 10 stocks, worth 90.67 trillion VND (4.3 billion USD).

Since the beginning of this year, foreign investors have been net sellers by a margin of 755.44 billion VND (35.9 million USD). Foreign transactions began to decline from the end of the second quarter.-VNA