Shares declined in HCM City at the end of April 20 despite a morning rally that followed data on a slowdown in consumer price index (CPI) rises.

Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh said this month's CPI is likely to increase by a rate lower than 0.1 percent. Meanwhile, CPI in Hanoi declined by 0.03 percent, the province of Long An saw a decline of 0.43 percent and in the province of Dong Nai there was a slight rise of only 0.09 percent. This is the first time in two years that CPI in Hanoi has decreased.

On the HCM Stock Exchange, the VN-Index slid 0.3 percent to 465.72 points.

Market value reached only 76.5 percent of April 19's level, totalling 1.76 trillion VND (83.8 million USD). Trading volume dropped 26.2 percent to around 106.6 million shares.

The falls on the VN-Index were led by major blue chips, such as insurer Bao Viet Holdings (BVH), food processor Masan Group (MSN), Vietcombank (VCB) and property developer Vincom (VIC), which closed the session down.

The VN30, however, bucked the benchmark index's trend to slightly edge up to 533.74 points. It still lost some points compared to earlier trades as nearly half of the shares it tracked fell.

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index was able to post a gain of 0.3 percent to 77.75 points.

The value of trades, however, decreased 12.3 percent to 876.9 billion VND (41.7 million USD) on a volume of 80.3 million shares.

Habubank (HBB) and PetroVietnam Construction Co (PVX) were the two most active stocks nationwide with some 6.1 million shares changing hands.

"Some corrections won't be sufficient to alter the trend of the market, and these trend lines are moving upwards," said Vietnam Investment Securities Co analysts.

They retained their optimism over a long-term rally, but added that money flows had been slower. "These corrections are essential to the market, and the declines were not large."

Analysts said investors should not panic, as the corrections will not last long.-VNA