Trading continued to be sluggish due to mounting caution among investors, failing to retain gains on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange on April 24.

Only 25 percent of the southern bourse's listed shares managed to march higher while over 100 stocks retreated.

While the benchmark VN-Index shed nearly 0.2 percent to close the session at 472.89 points, the VN30 tracking the top 30 shares fell 0.1 percent to 531.69 points.

Almost half of these 30 large caps finished the session in the red, including big-name shares such as insurer Bao Viet (BVH), private equity firm Masan (MSN), property developers Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAG) and Vingroup (VIC), Military Bank (MBB) and Vietcombank (VCB).

Market volume of trades remained low, with more than 32.8 million shares worth a total of 623.17 billion VND (29.6 million USD) changing hands.

Investment firm Tan Tao was the most active code with more than 4 million shares changing hands, closing at the ceiling price mainly thanks to trading by foreign investors. It was reported that British investor Graham and Associates showed interest in Tan Tao's Kien Luong thermal power plant despite the project's long standstill.

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index rose slightly to 58.27 points, up 0.05 percent over the previous day. Advancers overwhelmed decliners by 109-73.

Trading value reached only 86.4 percent of the previous day's level, totalling 142 billion VND (6.7 million USD) on a volume of 21.6 million shares.

Meanwhile, the HNX30, representing the performance of the northern bourse's best stocks, tumbled by 0.1 percent to reach 107.60 points.

During the day, the General Statistics Office announced that April's consumer price index ( CPI ) increased by 0.02 percent from March. This is the slowest April increase during the last 10 years.

However, this increase surprised investors, as the index for Hanoi and HCM City was reported to decline for the second month just a couple of days before.-VNA