Shares managed to close higher on both national stock exchanges in the afternoon session of May 26, but trading remained modest as investors were cautious about the market outlook.

On the Hochiminh Stock Exchange, the VN-Index increased 0.47 percent to end at 544.06 points, with gainers outnumbering losers by 141-68.

Blue chips were mixed as half of the top 30 shares by market value rose but nine declined and six were flat.

The VN30 inched up 0.32 percent to 596.24 points.

The gainers included Masan Group (MSN), Bao Viet Holdings (BVH), Vietcombank (VCB) and Gemandept but other heavyweight stocks such as Vinamilk (VNM), Vietinbank (CTG), Phu My Fertiliser (DPM), FPT Corp (FPT) and Hoang Anh Gia Lai Co (HAG) plunged.

Market volume was little changed from the previous session, totaling nearly 86 million shares, while the value of trades increased 10 percent to almost 1.2 trillion VND (56.9 million USD).

Real estate FLC Group (FLC) was the most active stock on the southern exchange with nearly 12 million shares, advancing 6.7 percent to end at 11,100 VND a share.

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index also added 0.41 percent to close at 74.88 points, sustained by the solid rally of HCM City's market.

The market condition was positive with 110 shares rising, 69 falling and 188 closing flat.

Blue chips here also gained, with the HNX30 climbing 0.3 percent to 148.59 points.

Trading was sluggish, however, as market volume was down 30 percent from May 23, totaling over 41 million shares worth 355.2 billion VND (16.8 million USD).

Sacomreal (SCR) was the most active share on May 26 on trades of 5.85 million shares, closing flat at 8,300 VND a share.

According to stock analysts, the market is likely to fluctuate in the coming sessions as the VN-Index approaches its short-term resistance level. Many sellers stopped unloading shares at low prices.

Even foreign investors reduced their buys. They were net buyers on the HCM City exchange on May 26, but only purchased 37.77 billion VND (1.8 million USD) worth of shares, a significant decrease from the previous net value of hundreds of billions of dong per session.

They were net sellers on the Hanoi bourse, unloading shares worth more than 8.81 billion VND (41,800 USD).-VNA