Booming transactions of blue chips boosted the benchmark indices to advance last week, while speculative stocks were among those generating the largest profits.

The VN-Index succeeded in regaining its previous high of 596 points, rising as much as 2.95 percent to finish at 596.83 points, as the HNX-Index also added 2,76 percent to finish at 84.43 points.

Transactions soared over the previous week, with matching volumes increasing 17 percent and 32.1 percent to reach 758.6 million shares and 496.8 million shares, respectively, on Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi Exchanges.

On HCM City Exchange, the upward trend was stable during the trading week. Gains mainly came from blue chips, such as Vinamilk (VNM), Masan Group (MSN), Vietcombank (VCB), PetroVietnam Gas Corporation (GAS), Bao Viet Group (BVH), PetroVietnam Drilling Corporation (PVD), property giant Vingroup (VIC) and Sai Gon Securities Company (SSI).

On the southern bourse, the trading value averaged 2.58 trillion VND (122.8 million USD) on the exchange with an average volume of 156.6 million shares.

When the market received support from blue chips, speculative stocks were also active, especially those in real estate, construction, securities and mining sectors, which attracted capital inflow last week.

However, profit-taking pressures were seen to intensify on the last two trading days of the week when the VN-Index approached the 596-point level. Fluctuations occurred, but gains from blue chips and significant capital inflow helped clear losses.

On the Hanoi Exchange, the average trading volume and value reached 101.1 million shares and 989.2 billion VND (47.1 million USD).

The HNX-Index advanced on most trading days during the week, except March 12 when it closed down due to high selling pressure.

Also, the capital city bourse's trading value exceeded 1.1 trillion VND on March 11 and March 14. PetroVietnam Construction Joint Stock Corporation posted strong gains last week, rising as much as 28.26 percent, although there was no information released regarding its business.

Experts said that the capital inflow into the stock last week might have been speculative money, with the expectation that the company would clear losses this year thanks to the opening of the Thai Binh Thermoelectric plant.

Additionally, the Prime Minister's approval to the derivatives development projects, as well as the establishment of a board in charge of resolving bad debts, improved investors' confidence last week.

However, foreign investors continued their net selling, placed at 302 billion VND (14.38 million USD) on both bourses.

On the HCM City Exchange, net selling reached 163 billion VND (7.7 million USD) on stocks, such as Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAG), PetroVietnam Fertilisers and Chemicals Corporation (DPM), Kinh Bac Urban Development Company (KBC) and Ocean Group (OCG). However, Masan Group (MSN) and PetroVietnam Gas Corporation (GAS) saw net buying from foreign investors.

Meanwhile, stock analysts were divided on forecasts about what would happen this week.

Bao Viet Securities said that the upward trend would be maintained this week, provided that significant capital inflows were maintained.

Further, BIDV Securities said the net selling of VNM exchanged traded fund would put relatively high pressure on the market and the benchmark indices would fluctuate around 590-600 points.

Of note, losses are expected to occur between trading sessions with gains, according to Military Bank Securities.

This week, many companies will hold their stakeholders meetings, which will attract the attention of investors.-VNA