After seeing modest gains on March 28, shares once again declined on March 29 on both of the nation's stock exchanges.

On the HCM Stock Exchange, the VN-Index retreated by 0.36 percent to close at 457.88 points. The value of trades soared by 64 percent, however, to over 894 billion VND (nearly 43 million USD) while the volume of trades climbed by over 44 percent to 36 million shares.

Of the total volume, nearly 8.2 million shares – or 29 percent – were traded through negotiation, including 6.2 million shares of PetroVietnam Low Pressure Gas Distribution (PGD) sold to PV Gas by PetroVietnam Northern Gas (PVG) in a deal worth 235.7 billion VND (11.3 million USD).

PVG shares rose 5.4 percent on the Hanoi exchange after realising gains of about 170 billion VND (8 million USD) on the share sale, while PGD shares dropped to their floor price of 36,200 VND (1.75 USD) on the HCM City bourse.

Among the 10 leading shares by capitalisation, only property developer Vincom (VIC), Sacombank (STB) and Phu My Fertilisers (DPM) saw gains.

Saigon Securities Inc (SSI) was the most-active stock with 2.3 million traded, but it closed down 3 per cent to 22,900 VND (1.10 USD). SSI had announced on March 28 it had fully repaid both principal and interest of 2.08 trillion VND (99.5 million USD) on convertible bonds issued last year and that it was under no pressure to sell additional shares to raise capital.

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange on March 29, the HNX-Index dropped by 1.2 percent to close on March 29 at 91.94. Both volume and value doubled, reaching 63.3 million shares worth almost 854.5 billion VND (40.9 million USD).

However, decliners outnumbered advancers by a wide margin of 217-58.

Kim Long Securities (KLS) was again the most-active share nationwide with over 4 million changing hands, but the shares closed unchanged at 10,500 VND (0.50 USD).

However, KLS and three other securities companies – Bao Viet Securities (BVS), Hai Phong Securities (HPC) and Viet Star Securities (SVS) – were issued warnings by the Hanoi exchange on March 29 due to losses incurred last year. In response, shares of HPC declined by over 4.3 percent and BVS and SVS dropped to their floor prices.

"Currently, the market may have support from investment funds, which often take steps to increase their net-asset value at the end of the first quarter, or from some company internal news," said a market report by Pham Dang Khoa, an analyst with a Hanoi-based securities company. "This could prolong sideways markets movements for the short-term," he stressed.

"The longer the period lasts, due to a lack of supportive news, the higher the possibility of a significant retreat of the two major stock indices," Khoa added.

Foreign investors on March 29 continued to be net buyers of over 70 billion VND (3.3 million USD) worth of shares on both exchanges. /.