Trading became more active in the afternoon session but was not enough to rescue the VN-Index from another fall on May 8.

On the HCM Stock Exchange, the VN-Index lost another 0.11 percent to close the May 8 session at 485.07 points.

The value of trades jumped 28 percent over the previous day's level, totalling over 1.16 trillion VND (55.4 million USD). However, trading via negotiations accounted for 52 percent of the total market value, reaching 609 billion VND (29 million USD).

Negotiations were concentrated on blue chips with 18.7 million shares of Eximbank (EIB), worth 295 billion VND (14 million USD), exchanged. PetroVietnam General Services (PET) followed with 3.3 million shares worth 56 billion VND (2.7 million USD) changing hands, after which came Masan Group (MSN) with 1.66 million shares worth 180 billion VND (8.6 million USD).

The VN30, tracking the top 30 shares by market capitalisation and liquidity, rose by 0.03 percent to close at 549.74 points.

Tan Tao Investment Industry (ITA) was still the most active code on the southern exchange on total trades of nearly 3 million shares, but declined 4.35 percent to close at 6,600 VND a share.

After a strong rally early this week, the market slumped in the last two days. The decline was foreseeable as a large number of stocks had to re-test strong resistance zones, but the high selling pressure across the board showed investors' doubtful sentiment, wrote Nguyen Xuan Binh, an analyst at Bao Viet Securities Co.

While slight recovery and divergence were likely to occur in the next few sessions as listed companies continued to announce their first-quarter earnings results, "the impact of that information on the market would be insignificant," the analyst said.

"Without new movements, the market is unlikely to enter a new uptrend," he stressed.

Meanwhile, the HNX-Index on the Hanoi Stock Exchange sank into the red for most of the trading time, losing 0.76 percent to close at 60.08 points.

Trading was still sluggish in the afternoon, totalling 32 million shares worth more than 227.7 billion VND (10.8 million USD).

Trading on speculative stocks continued to dominate the market. PetroVietnam Construction (PVX) topped the list with 5.66 million shares changing hands, followed by Sacomreal (SCR) with 4.27 million shares and Sai Gon-Hanoi Bank (SHB) with over 4 million shares. However, all of them declined in value from 1.5-4 percent.

Foreign investors actively participated in the market as well on May 8, picking up a combined 296.6 billion VND (14 million USD) worth of shares on both exchanges.-VNA