Shares declined steeply on April 18 under heavy selling pressure in an unexpected fall after the rebound a day earlier.

On the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange, the VN-Index fell to a two-month low at 565.33 points, down 2.58 per cent from the previous session.

Blue chips lost momentum, driving down the market. All 30 shares by market value and liquidity shed their value, pushing the VN30 down 3.32 per cent to end at 621.13 points.

Heavyweight shares including Bao Viet Holdings (BVH), Masan Group (MSN), VinGroup (VIC), PV Gas (GAS), Vinamilk (VNM) and Phu My Fertiliser all tumbled. Of these, MSN was the biggest loser with share prices falling 6.3 percent to just 89,500 VND (4.24 USD) a share.

The market value decreased 10 percent from April 16, reaching nearly 2 trillion VND (94.8 million USD) on a total volume of 117 million shares and fund certificates.

The continuing decline stirred panic among investors and triggered a rush to unload shares. Many offered to sell at reduced prices, driving many share values to the floor.

As many as 448 of the total 682 codes on both exchanges lost value, 127 of them significantly.

"This has shocked many new investors. The market has kept rising since September last year that attracted big money inflows," said analysts of financial website

Real estate developer FLC Group (FLC) was again the most active code on the southern bourse with 11.2 million shares traded. Its price slid 6.6 percent to settle at 12,800 VND a share.

Tan Tao Investment Industry Corporation (ITA) came second on a total trading volume of 6.9 million shares, slipping 6.5 percent to end at 8,700 VND.

In Hanoi , the HNX-Index tumbled 3.62 percent to close at 80.58 points.

The HNX30, tracking the top 30 shares on the bourse, also went down 5.29 percent to end at 162.99 points, the biggest drop in its history.

Trading improved, however, as the volume was up 20 percent to 67 million shares, worth 686 billion VND (32.5 million USD), more than 10 percent over April 16.

PetroVietnam Construction Corp (PVX) was the most active code with 11.1 million shares traded but its value went down 9.43 percent to close at 4,800 VND per share. Saigon-Ha Noi Bank (SHB) followed with 8.2 million shares changing hands at 10,100 VND each, down 7.34 percent from the previous session.

In contrast to local investors' moves, foreign investors stopped net selling and returned as net buyers on both exchanges on April 18. They picked up shares worth a combined 94.23 billion VND (4.5 million USD) from the two markets.-VNA