Profit booking intensified during March 20's trading, dragging shares on the Ho Chi Minh City Exchange down. However, shares on Hanoi Exchange managed to close slightly up.

Yet the capital inflow into the stock market remained at a high level, topping at 5.3 trillion VND (252.38 million USD), 15 percent higher than March 19's total.

The VN-Index slid 0.88 percent to end the day at 600.26 points and needs to increasingly consolidate at the 600-point level during future trading sessions.

The benchmark index was on a decreasing trend from 10a.m. during the morning trading, as selling pressure intensified as the value of many stocks increased due to investors' expectations.

With nearly 193 million shares traded, total trading value reached more than 3.7 trillion VND (176 million USD).

Meanwhile, on the southern bourse on March 20, losers overwhelmed gainers by 145-92.

Among blue chips, the red colour spread across the billboard with two-thirds of the VN30-package, or the southern bourse's 30 largest stocks by capitalisation and liquidity, closing lower.

The VN30-Index lost 5.86 points, or as much as 0.86 percent, to close at 676.08 points due to drops from big names such as Bao Viet Group (BVH), Hoa Phat Group (HPG), PetroVietnam Drilling Corporation (PVD), PetroVietnam Transportation Corporation (PVT), FPT Group (FPT), PetroVietnam Low Pressure Gas Distribution, Vingroup (VIC) and Vietcombank (VCB).

Masan Group (MSN), after increasing to its ceiling price on March 17 as the Market Vector Viet Nam ETF increased its holding of MSN during the fund's review of its investment list last week, slid 2.8 percent to close at 105,000 VND (5 USD) per share. Vinamilk (VNM) also lost 3,000 VND (1.5 cents) per share on March 20.

Only seven blue chips managed to gain on March 20, including Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAG) and Tan Tao Group (ITA) thanks to the buying of foreign investors.

Profit-booking also occurred on the Hanoi Exchange, however, the benchmark index ended slightly during the final trading minutes.

The HNX-Index edged up 0.03 percent to land at 89.7 points, while the HNXFF-Index, tracking stocks with a minimum free-float rate of 5 percent, added 0.33 percent, or 0.36 percent to 90.71 points.

Composed of top stocks, the HNX30-Index gained 0.11 percent to reach 184.17 points.

The trading value reached 1.5 trillion VND (71.4 million USD) on the exchange of 138 million shares.

Sai Gon – Ha Noi Bank (SHB) continued to lead the bourse by capitalisation, with more than 18.8 million shares traded, following a record trading volume of 31.4 million shares on March 19. SHB finished up 4.5 percent at 11,600 VND (5.5 cents) per share.

Also, foreign investors continued to be net sellers on March 20 with a net volume of 7 billion shares and a net value of VND174 billion (8.28 million USD), respectively, 34 percent lower but 46.47 percent higher than March 19.

According to FPT Securities, the net selling of foreign investors hit the recovery of the benchmark indices. However, with significant capital inflow, the market trend remains positive in the short term, according to FPT Securities.

Additionally, Vietnam Investment Securities said the US Federal Reserve's expectation to raise interest rates sooner and faster than previously thought would have an impact on the foreign capital inflow into the Vietnam stock market.-VNA