Shares were able to maintain last Friday's gains during the week’s first session on Dec. 19 on the HCM Stock Exchange, with the VN-Index adding another 0.4 percent before closing at 367.40 points.

The value of trades eased from the previous session to 613.5 billion VND (29 million USD) while the volume of trades plunged by nearly 43 percent to 37.3 million shares.

Decliners edged out advancers by 126-92, with blue chips also mixed. Vietinbank (CTG) and Vietcombank (VCB) hit their ceiling prices, but Phu My Fertiliser (DPM), steelmaker Hoa Phat (HPG), Sacombank (STB) and property developer Vincom (VIC) all retreated.

Notably, PetroVietnam Finance (PVF) dropped below its face value, declining to only 9,000 VND per share.

Financial group Tan Tao (ITA) led the HCM City market in volume, with around 1.3 million shares change hands.

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index also held onto gains, edging up 0.6 percent to 60.19 points. Value declined by 9.7 percent from the previous session, however, to just 230.2 billion VND (10.9 million USD). Volume totalled 26.6 million shares.

VNDirect Securities Co (VND) was the most-active share nationwide, with nearly 2.9 million traded.

Thang Long Securities Co deputy director Quach Manh Hao told a conference in HCM City on Dec. 18 that the market could recover early next year and discounted concerns that about 25 trillion VND (1.2 billion USD) in foreign investment has recently been withdrawn from the market.

"A Japanese investment fund is planning to divest, but there will be many others to come," Hao said./.