Shares ended slightly higher on the Hochiminh Stock Exchange despite strong sales during the afternoon session, but the northern index was less lucky at avoiding a drop on July 16.

The market opened with bullish trading, similar to the two previous trading sessions. However, as selling pressure appeared when the VN-Index approached 594 points and intensified into a sell-off late in the afternoon, the index's gains narrowed rapidly.

The VN-Index managed to tick up 0.06 percent to end at 589.68 points on July 16, and the 590-point level was challenged in today's trading.

The trading volume and value remained at a high level, roughly the same as the previous trading session, with 138 million shares changing hands, worth 2.2 trillion VND (104 million USD).

Blue chips ended mixed, with nine gainers and 11 losers. Still, the VN30-Index, tracking the performance of the southern bourse's top stocks by capitalisation and liquidity, edged up 0.16 percent to finish at 637.13 points.

In the VN30 package, Masan Group (MSN), Gemardept Corporation (GMD) and Hoa Phat Group (HPG) advanced, while Southern Rubber Corporation (CSM), Da Nang Rubber Corporation (DRC) and several members of PetroVietnam declined.

Overall, 180 codes advanced, 98 codes fell and 77 codes tread water.

FLC Group (FLC) continued to be the most heavily traded stocks on the southern bourse on July 16, with 15 million shares changing hands.

Selling pressure dragged the HNX-Index down 0.09 percent to close at 80.13 points on July 16, ending the three-day streak. Still, advancers overwhelmed decliners by 101-72 on the northern bourse.

However, market liquidity improved greatly, with investors' confidence seen to be improving. The trading volume reached 72.5 million shares, worth 803.9 billion VND, which is 73 percent and 55 percent higher than the last two trading sessions, respectively.

The HNX-Index did not receive support from blue chips, with the HNX30-Index seen dropping 0.41 percent to 163.34 points.

Foreign investors unexpectedly concluded as net buyers of 47 billion VND (2.2 million USD) shares on July 16 after selling a net 69.44 billion VND (3.2 million USD) worth of shares on July 15.-VNA