Shares advanced on both national stock exchanges last week after posting losses in the previous week.

However, as the benchmark indices approached resistance bands, profit-booking activities created pressure on the market due to growing caution by investors.

The VN-Index on the Hochiminh Stock Exchange gained an accumulative 2.32 percent last week to end July 18 session at 596.2 points, while the HNX-Index on the northern bourse advanced 3.23 percent to reach 81.14 points.

The trading volume and value on the southern bourse averaged 116.9 million shares and 1.9 trillion VND (89.6 million USD), improving slightly over the previous week.

However, there was a slight easing of liquidity on the Hanoi Exchange over the week before, with an average 46.7 million shares changing hands per session, valued at an average 576.8 billion VND (27.2 million USD).

Trading opened last week with the green colour spreading across the billboard, especially stocks from the rubber sectors, including Da Nang Rubber Corporation (DRC) and Southern Rubber Corporation (CSM), which helped sustain the market gain after the profit booking dragged down the VN-Index during the three previous trading sessions. Still, investors were showing caution during July 14 trading due to net selling from foreign investors.

However, the market was unexpectedly bullish on July 15, due to soaring liquidity. But gains were narrowed because of the appearance of profit-booking activities when the benchmark indices approached new point bands.

Circulating gains from large-cap stocks, such as PetroVietnam Gas Corportaion (PVG), Masan Group (MSN), Vietcombank (VCB) and Hoa Phat Group (HPG) helped the southern benchmark index avoid a drop on July 16 after a share sell-off, as liquidity improved greatly. Yet, the northern index was not as lucky, posting a slight drop of 0.09 percent on July 16 after a share sell-off.

Speculative capital flowing into stocks of construction, property, securities and mining sectors also contributed to consolidate market sentiments.

On July 18, large-cap stocks soared, including big names such as Vinamilk (VNM), FPT Corporation (FPT), Vingroup (VIC), Masan Group (MSN), and Vietcombank (VCB), boosting the indices' gains and market liquidity.

According to Le Dac An, investment director of Tan Viet Securities, the market showed little reaction to the moving of China's oil rig out of Vietnam's exclusive economic zone, in comparison to the impact of the illegal placement of the oil rig in May, which harmed the market.

The market witnessed trading value exceeding 3 trillion VND (141.5 million USD) on both July 16 and 18.

Mobile World Investment Corporation (MWG) was notable on the southern bourse last week when it soared to end all five trading sessions at its ceiling prices. Listed on July 14 at the initial price of 68,000 VND (3.2 USD) per share, MWG was up an accumulative 55 percent during the week to end July 18 session at 103,000 VND (4.8 USD) per share.

Foreign investors sold a net 55.4 billion VND (2.6 million USD) on the southern bourse last week, mainly on Vingroup (VIC) and PetroVietnam Gas Corporation (PVG), while purchasing a net 87.8 billion VND (4.2 million USD) on the Hanoi Exchange, mainly on PetroVietnam Technical Services (PVS).

Nguyen Huu Binh, chief analyst of the Vietnam Investment Securities, said that companies' financial reports were expected to be released this month. However, the market did not show signs of over-excitement or panic but, instead, caution.

Lastly, stock analysts said short-term risks might increase when the benchmark index approached new point bands.-VNA