Stocks in HCM City failed to maintain a morning rally on March 19 and closed off slightly from the previous session, with the VN-Index ending the day at 438.07 points, a modest 0.1 percent decline.

The value of trades on the HCM Stock Exchange reached only half of the previous session's level, totalling just 919.6 billion VND (43.8 million USD) on a volume of about 58.5 million.

However, the VN30 Index, which tracks the market's leading shares by capitalisation and volume, managed to close up slightly to 497.22 points. Four of the 10 leading shares by capitalisation posted gains, including Vietcombank (VCB) which hit its ceiling price of 28,300 VND per share.

Real estate developer Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAG), Sacombank (STB), Eximbank (EIB) and insurer Bao Viet Holdings (BVH) all retreated, with BVH plunging to the floor.

Military Bank (MBB) was the most-active share on the southern bourse with over 4.1 million changing hands.

According to Kim Eng Securities Co, information emerged on March 19 which directly affected the value of two construction stocks – Hanic (SHN) and Licogi (LCG). SHN chairman Dinh Hong Long admitted to the local media on March 19 that his company was facing insolvency and in "a very bad condition." The announcement put the stock under heavy sell pressure and it nearly bottomed out.

Meanwhile, LCG also failed to turn a profit this year and it shares on March 19 also dipped to their floor price with a heavy surplus of sell orders.

"We believe that many construction firms face similarly gloomy business results," said Kim Eng Securities Co analysts.

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange on March 19, shares fluctuated during the session, but the HNX-Index managed to recover by the end of the session, closing up by 0.2 percent to 72.90 points. Value fell 31.4 percent from the previous session to 754.96 billion VND (35.9 million USD), while volume totalled 78.9 million shares.

VNDirect Securities Co (VND) emerged as the most-active share nationwide with nearly 11.2 million traded. It finished the session up 4.8 percent to 10,900 VND per share.

While sell pressures declined on March 19 compared to the previous session, demand for stocks remained anaemic, said FPT Securities Co analysts. "Technical signals are not supporting the possibility of a further rally of the VN-Index in upcoming sessions," they added.-VNA