Stocks marched into the week with benchmark indices on both of the nation's stock exchanges gaining value on March 26 on strong investor confidence.

Investor psychology further improved after Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung estimated first-quarter growth at 4 percent. Inflation in March of just 0.16 percent also suggested that the nation is on track to achieve single-digit inflation this year, Dung said.

On the HCM Stock Exchange on March 26, the VN-Index advanced by 1.14 percent against the previous seasion on March 23, ending the afternoon session at 459.26 points. Both value and volume of trades increased by around 6 percent, totalling nearly 1.2 trillion VND (61.4 million USD) on a volume of 94 million shares.

Trading among the market's leading shares was mixed, however, causing the VN30 Index – which tracks the 30 top shares by capitalisation and liquidity – to fall behind the pace set by the VN-Index. The VN30 ended the session at 517.27 points, an increase of 0.86 percent.

Overall, gainers outnumbered losers by 185-68, with 51 codes closing unchanged. Of the gainers, 104 rose to their ceiling prices.

Petroleum stocks led the rise, following the announcement by PetroVietnam that it would introduce the PVN-Index in May to measure the performance of its affiliated companies listed on both stock exchanges, as well as on the unlisted public company market (UPCoM).

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index retreated a little from morning gains, closing on March 26 at 77.72, an increase of just 0.19 percent over the prior session.

Advancers outnumbered declines by 268-56, and 167 codes hit the ceiling, but the value and volume of trades each fell by around 12 percent, totalling 982 billion VND (46.8 million USD) on a volume of 99 million shares.

The Hanoi Stock Exchange on March 26 formally adopted a new reference price basis, under which the reference price for the following day will be calculated by the weighted average prices in the last 15 minutes of the previous trading day. This new method is expected to make it easy for speculators to push up share prices in the closing minutes of trading regardless of their performance in the session overall.

Foreign investors continued to pour money in Vietnam's stock market, concluding another session as net buyers on March 26. They picked up shares on both exchanges worth a combined net of 100 billion VND (4.8 million USD).-VNA