Shares on the nation's stock exchanges continued declining yesterday even as markets throughout the Asian region were more mixed over renewed concerns about the European debt crisis, fanned by news that eurozone banks had deposited a record of 591 billion USD with the European Central Bank.

"Signs of a rally are no stronger, and the current expectation is just a technical correction," said analysts for BIDV Securities Co. "The current status of the market is only suitable for long-term buys."

With more optimistic prospects for the economy, supporting information might appear as soon as the second quarter, said FPT Securities Co analysts. "Instead of short-term targets with high risk, investors should turn to medium- and long-term prospects which promise lower risk" they said.

On the HCM City Stock Exchange, the VN-Index shed 2.3 percent to close at just 340.94 points, setting a new three-month low. Losers overwhelmed gainers by 149-60. The value of trades reached only 304.4 billion VND (14.5 million USD), while market volume dropped 18.9 percent to 20.6 million shares.

Blue chips tumbled, with none of the 10 leading shares by capitalisation posting gains. Shares of real estate developer Vincom (VIC) hit their floor price of 94,500 VND (4.50 USD) per share. Sacombank (STB), closing down by 1.2 percent, was again the most-active share, with 1.8 million traded.

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index retreated by another 1 percent, concluding the day at 55.89 points. Nearly 86 percent of all listed codes tumbled, even as the value of trades rose by 12.3 percent over the previous session to 181.6 billion VND (8.6 million USD). Volume reached 20.4 million shares.

VNDirect Securities Co (VND) was the most-active share nationwide, with more than 1.9 million exchanged, but it bottomed out to just 6,400 VND per share.

In HCM City, foreign investors returned to being net sellers by a margin of 8 billion VND (380,950 USD), but they were net buyers for the 16th consecutive session in Hanoi by a margin of 22 billion VND (1 million USD)./.