Prolonged lacklustre trading ate away investor confidence pushing, shares down on July 31 on both national stock exchanges.

According to Giang Trung Kien, director of FPT Securities Co's analysis division, the domestic economy still faced many difficulties such as restructuring the banking system, declining demand, low GDP growth, and particularly negative second-quarter business results announced by many listed companies.

"This shows the recovery of the business environment, the backbone of the economy, is still very slow, and therefore the possibility of a market uptrend is unlikely at this time," Kien said.

On the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange, the benchmark VN-Index fell back in the afternoon session to close off 0.13 percent at 414.48 points.

Market value declined 10 percent from the previous day, totalling 417 billion VND (20 million USD), while the volume of trades is also down 5 percent to 25.4 million shares.

Blue-chips were mixed. Amongst the top 30 shares by market capitalisation and liquidity, 12 advanced, 10 declined and eight closed unchanged, driving the VN30 Index down 0.06 percent to 491.98 points.

Only three shares saw trading in excess of 1 million shares yesterday, including Tan Tao Investment Industry Corp (ITA), financial conglomerate Ocean Group (OGC) and telecom equipment producer SACOM Development and Investment (SAM).

SAM rose 1.25 percent while OGC shed 0.8 percent and ITA closed flat.

Sacombank Securities Co (SBS) continued to shock the market by hitting its ceiling price for the seven consecutive session, despite the fact trading of the company's shares is only permitted in the last 15 minutes of every session.

SBS is put under tight control by the State Securities Commission from July 23 because the company's losses exceeded its total equity capital at the end of March. SBS closed at 4,200 VND (0.20 USD) on July 31.

Meanwhile, the HNX-Index on the Hanoi Stock Exchange also slid 0.37 percent to finish the session at 69.194 points on a sluggish value of 235.4 billion VND (11.2 million USD).

Large-cap shares led the downturn, with the HNX30 losing 0.36 percent to close at 130.92 points. VNDirect Securities (VND) is still the most active code on the Hanoi market with nearly 2.6 million shares traded, closing unchanged at 10,800 VND (0.51 USD).-VNA