Stocks on the HCM City Stock Exchange managed to close in positive territory on Feb. 3, but shares plunged on the Hanoi bourse due to heavy profit-taking.

In HCM City , the VN-Index rose by as much as 0.03 percent early in the session but declined again gradually before closing essentially unchanged at 401.74 points.

The value of trades rose by over 35 percent over the previous session to almost 967 billion VND (46 million USD), while volume climbed nearly 56 percent to over 68.5 million shares.

Shares were mixed, with 151 out of 293 codes losing value. Among blue chips, real estate developer Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAG) continued its seven-day winning streak by hitting its ceiling price, while dairy giant Vinamilk (VNM), Phu My Fertilisers (DPM), software producer FPT, and Sacombank (STB) all lost value.

Military Bank (MBB) was the most-active share on the southern bourse with over 4 million changing hands. MBB closed up 1.6 percent to 12,800 VND per share.

The VN-Index has already risen by over 19 percent in a month and seen five consecutive winning sessions. "The rally trend is incredible," an analyst with FPT Securities Co wrote in a report, adding the market was supported by positive economic news and earnings data.

Other analysts, however, have warned of a likely downward adjustment in the coming sessions as the pressure to take short-term profits increases.

The pattern seemed to play out in Hanoi on Feb. 3, where the HNX-Index lost 1.15 percent to end the session at 61.85 points.

Heavy profit taking pushed volume up 76 percent to 57.5 million shares while transaction value soared 63 percent to over 441 billion VND (21 million USD).

But losers outnumbered gainers by 164-104, and many speculative shares declined, including Kim Long Securities Co (KLS), down 3.2 percent; VNDirect Securities (VND), off 1.3 percent; Bao Viet Securities (BVS), down 1.9 percent; and Viet Hai Shipping and Real Properties Co (VSP), down 5.3 percent.

PetroVietnam Construction (PVX) continued to be the most-active share nationwide on a volume of nearly seven million. PVX bucked the negative trend on the northern bourse to post a gain of 2.4 percent, closing at 8,400 VND per share.

Foreign investors increased their buys on both exchanges on Feb. 3, picking up a combined net of over 302 billion VND (14.4 million USD) worth of shares./.