Stocks advanced steadily on Jan. 10, with benchmark indices posting gains on both national stock exchanges.

On the HCM Stock Exchange, the VN-Index closed at 344.68 points, a gain of 1.58 percent over Monday's session. The value of trades declined by a whopping 81 percent from Jan. 9, however, reaching just 500 billion VND (23.8 million USD) on a volume of 36.5 million shares.

Advancers overwhelmed decliners by 168-48, with 73 codes hitting their ceiling prices.

Blue chips continued to perform well. Of the 10 leading shares by capitalisation, Bao Viet Holdings (BVH) soared after four consecutive falling sessions and seven others posted gains. Only real estate developer Vincom (VIC) and Vinamilk (VNM) closed unchanged.

Sacombank (STB) continued to be the most-active share in HCM City with nearly 2.8 million changing hands. STB gained 3.6 percent to close at 17,400 VND per share.

However, the market still lacked news or data which would support a sustained uptrend, cautioned Hanoi-based independent analyst Pham Viet Hung. The number of losing stocks continued to be high, he noted, and the value of transactions through order matching remained low due to investor caution.

"But," he added, "the market rising for a second day with a stronger pace could help buoy investor psychology."

On the Ha Noi Stock Exchange, rebounds of speculative shares such as VNDirect Securities (VND) and Kim Long Securities (KLS) helped boost the HNX-Index to a close of 56.15 points, a gain on the day of 1.59 percent. Market value soared by over 61 percent to nearly 255.4 billion VND (12.2 million USD) as more than 28.2 million shares were traded.

Advancers edged decliners by four-to-one overall, while KLS was the most-active stock on a volume of 2.35 million.

Foreign investors concluded yesterday as net sellers in HCM City, unloading 36.2 billion VND (1.7 million USD) worth of shares, while they were net buyers of just 783 million VND (37,000 USD) worth of shares in Hanoi. /.