On the HCM Stock Exchange on March 31, the VN-Index closed 591.57 points, off 0.46 percent from March 28.

The afternoon's trades doubled the morning with nearly 120 million shares and fund certificates worth 2.1 trillion VND (99.5 million VND).

Only one of the three major shares which supported the market in the morning sustained gains in the afternoon. PetroVietnam Gas (GAS) rose 1.21 percent to 83,500 VND (4 USD) a shares but dairy giant Vinamilk (VNM) and Vietcombank (VCB) retreated to the reference prices.

Other blue chips lost ground, however, pushing the VN30 (tracking the top 30 shares by market capitalisation and liquidity) down 0.87 percent at 670.43 points.

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index also closed down 0.67 percent at 89.44 points. The market volume totaled nearly 117 million shares worth over 1.52 trillion VND (72 million USD).

The VN-Index gained 3.17 percent during March while the HNX-Index on the Hanoi exchange also rose 11.16 percent. From January-March, the VN-Index added an accumulative 17.25 percent and the HNX-Index increased 31.66 percent, according to data of vietstock.vn.

Foreign investors returned as net buyers on March 31 after four weeks of net selling. They picked up a combined over 112 billion VND (5.3 million USD) worth of shares on both stock exchanges.-VNA