Stocks lost value last week, while market insiders forecast that trading this week would most likely be volatile amid expectations of second-quarter business results.

On the Hochiminh Stock Exchange, the Vn-Index lost a cumulative 2.4 percent during the week, closing on June 20 at 560.78 points.

Profit-taking across blue chips drove the market down. Shares which gained strongly in the previous week like PV Gas (GAS), Masan Group (MSN) and Vietcombank (VCB) tumbled last week.

The VN30, tracking the top 30 shares by market value and liquidity was also down 1.7 percent, to 607.23 points.

Bargain hunting rose, however, focusing on hot stocks like securities, construction and real estate.

Total market volume grew 22.6 percent over the previous week, averaging nearly 1.9 million shares, worth over 1.73 trillion VND (82.1 million USD) per day.

Strong buys by foreign investors also helped cushion the market. They ended last week as net buyers on the southern exchanges, picking up shares worth 624 billion VND (29.6 million USD).

Their buys focused on large-cap shares including Sacombank (STB), Phu My Fertiliser (DPM), and seafood producer Hung Vuong Group (HVG).

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index inched down just 0.48 percent, ending at 76.31 points on June 20.

Trading decreased here, however, as the daily trading volume went down nearly 9 percent to an average of over 50 million shares, worth 522.5 billion VND (24.8 million USD) per session.

Foreign investors were also net buyers, responsible for a total value of 113.6 billion VND (5.4 million USD). They bought PetroVietnam Technical Services Corp (PVS), Sai Gon-Ha Noi Bank (SHB) and VNDirect Securities (VND) most.

The market in the short term will be segmented as cash flow will focus on stocks that benefit from the higher value of the USD, particularly export companies such as textiles, oil and gas and fisheries, Le Thi Bich Hang, stock analyst of FPT Securities Co said.

Estimates of the second-quarter business results of listed companies, which will be released towards the end of this week, are expected to draw attention of investors.

Hot money is likely to pour into shares of companies posting positive business results, while the ones paying dividends in July will probably go up.-VNA