The HCM Stock Exchange, the VN-Index edged down 0.11 percent at 741.91 points. The southern market index rose 0.24 percent in the previous session.
Bank shares fell under heavy profit-taking selling pressure. Only Military Bank (MBB) and Eximbank (EIB) increased while the other four listed lenders on the southern bourse lost between 0.8-1.8 percent.
Many of the top 30 largest shares by market value and liquidity also slumped, including the highest valued companies like dairy giant Vinamilk (VNM), real estate developer VinGroup (VIC), budget airline Vietjet (VJC), Masan Group (MSN) and steelmaker Hoa Sen Group (HSG).
Eighteen shares in the VN30 tumbled and only eight advanced.
However, overall market breadth was positive with the number of rising shares outnumbering losing ones by 152-110 and other 64 closed unchanged.
According to analysts at Vietnam Investment Securities Co (VIS), the VN-Index was mostly dragged down by a few leading large-cap stocks. However, positive market breadth and high liquidity reinforced the view that cash flows are shifting from large-cap stocks to small- and medium-cap stocks.
“This is normal investment trend which indicated that positive trend is spreading to the whole market,” they wrote in a Thursday’s report.
Real estate was the most prominent sector that attracted investment.
Three of the five most active stocks in HCM City’s market were property firms, including Hoang Quan Consulting-Trading-Service Real Estate (HQC), FLC Group (FLC) and Sai Gon Thuong Tin Real Estate Co (SCR) with up to tens of millions of shares traded each.
Securities and energy stocks were also positive as big companies such as PV Gas (GAS), PetroVietnam Drilling and Services (PVD), Saigon Securities Inc (SSI) and HCM Securities (HCM) advanced.
However, VIS analysts have cautioned investors these two sectors due to a lack of support information.
On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index rose for a second day, up 0.54 percent to end at 93.47 points.
Liquidity remained high with a total of 274.2 million shares worth a combined VND5.83 trillion (US$256.8 million) traded in the two markets.