Stocks advanced on July 19 on both national stock exchanges on improved trading, led by blue chips.

On the HCM Stock Exchange, the VN-Index rose for the third straight day, closing up 2.28 percent at 428.38 points, as advancers outnumbered decliners by 224-30.

The VN30 Index tracking the top 30 shares by market capitalisation and liquidity also increased by 1.72 percent to stand at over 502.06 points.

Amongst these 30 shares, 28 climbed, of which 11 hit their daily limit rise of 5 percent, including Bao Viet Holdings (BVH), property developer Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAG), Becamex Infrastructure Development (IJC) and Phu My Fertiliser (DPM). Two closed unchanged and no shares declined.

Shares of Sacombank Securities Co (SBS) were unloaded heavily, following news that the HCM City exchange decided to limit trade of SBS shares from July 23, with the firm's shares only allowed to trade in the last 15 minutes of every session. With 9 million of the shares changing hands, they became the most active code on the HCM City bourse, ending down 2.94 percent at just 3,300 VND (0.16 USD) a share.

Increased buying pushed the total trading value to nearly 1.26 trillion VND (60 million USD), up 60 percent from a day earlier, while volume of trades surged 72 percent to nearly 85 million shares.

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index also climbed 2.67 percent to finish at 72.93 points, on a total turnover of 635.3 billion VND (30.3 million USD), up 72 percent from the previous day's level.

Twenty-nine of the top 30 shares gained value, of which 18 soared to the ceiling prices, pushing the HNX30 up 4.23 percent to 140.33 points.

Advancers edged decliners up six-to-one overall.

PetroVietnam Construction (PVX) was the most active code nationwide with 11.4 million shares changing hands, rising 6.5 percent to 9,800 VND (0.47 USD).

"The confidence of buyers improved in recent sessions so we think that stock prices can reverse their downside direction if trading activities continue to be energised," said Nguyen Xuan Binh, an analyst from Bao Viet Securities Co.

Finance Minister Vuong Dinh Hue predicted Vietnam's stock market may rise from the end of the current quarter as economic growth recovers and boosts corporate earnings.

Foreign investors remained net buyers on both exchanges, picking up combined shares worth 17.5 billion VND (833,000 USD).-VNA