Stocks edged lower on March 2 on the two exchanges as investor sentiment continued to weaken on slow liquidity.

On the Hochiminh Stock Exchange, the benchmark VN-Index closed at 590.73 points, a drop of 0.31 percent from the February 27 level, while the VN30 which tracks the top 30 shares by market value and liquidity, inched down 0.22 percent to end at 617.05 points.

Dwindling bank shares were the main reason for the declines as most shares of this group lost value, including Vietcombank (VCB), Military Bank (MBB), Vietinbank (CTG), Bank for Investment and Development of Viet Nam (BID) and Sacombank (STB).

However, regardless of domestic sells, foreign investors increased their buys in bank shares, helping cushion their fall. CTG was the most heavily purchased shares by foreigners with a net buy of 6 billion VND (280,000 USD), along with BID and STB.

This sector was net buyers in the two markets, responsible for a combined net buy value of 134 billion VND (6.3 million USD), of which 123 billion VND (5.7 million USD) was disbursed in the southern bourse.

"Overall market sentiment today is not too bad with stable demand and increased foreign cash flows. Under these circumstances, investors still can buy good stocks when the market declines, but should not use margins due to a lack of support information and selling pressure in the market," said analysts of the financial website

Liquidity remained low with nearly 87 million shares worth 1.5 trillion VND (70.1 million USD) by the end of the session.

FLC Group (FLC) claimed the most active stock position with trading of 10.3 million shares, going up 0.91 percent to finish at 11,100 VND a share.

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index also slumped 0.35 percent to close at 85.48 points on waning trading.

The market volume and value were down 20 percent from the previous session, totaling 32.4 million shares worth nearly 406 billion VND (19 million USD).-VNA