Stocks extended morning's losses to the afternoon session as investors again felt uncertain on the economic look.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment on Mar. 30 reported a sharp rise in companies filing for bankruptcy in the first quarter. In HCM City , 526 enterprises completed procedures for dissolution at the HCM City Department of Planning and Investment, up 23.8 percent year-on-year, while over 5,000 others filed paperwork with the City Tax Department to shut down operations.

The Hanoi counterpart has yet to complete its calculations but confirmed the number of dissolved companies continued to rise in March. In the first two months of this year, the number of firms filling for bankruptcy in Hanoi rose by 4.3 times over the same period last year.

In addition, reports of slowing industrial production and exports raised concerns over the possibility of stagnation.

On the HCM City Exchange, the benchmark VN-Index was down 1.5 percent to close Mar. 29 session at 439.63 points. Trading value dropped 25 percent from the previous session, totalling nearly 1.05 trillion VND (50 million USD), while volume of trades declined 10 percent to 74.5 million shares.

Blue chips tumbled with 21 of the 30 leading shares by market value and liquidity closing down, including 4 which dropped to their floor prices, while only three rallied, driving the VN30 Index down 1.2 percent to 498.48 points.

Losers overwhelmed gainers by 198-63 overall.

Financial shares remained the most active in HCM City , with Sacombank Securities (SBS) and Eximbank (EIB) each seeing over 3.3 million shares changing hands. But while SBS slid 4.6 percent to end at 6,300 VND (0.30 USD), EIB edged up 0.6 percent to finish at 17,200 VND (0.82 USD).

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index fell a more substantial 3.08 percent to 73.20 points.

Value of trades declined slightly but still stood high at 941.2 billion VND (44.8 million USD) with 93.6 million shares changing hands.

Decliners nearly quadrupled advancers, with Habubank (HBB), the most heavily-traded code nationwide on a volume of 14.7 million shares, settling down 4.3 percent at 6,700 VND.-VNA