Discouraging US retail forecasts and concerns over the EU debt crisis drove down world markets and fuelled massive profit-taking on domestic exchanges, said the head of market analysis for a HCM City-based securities firm, Nguyen Anh Tuan.

Tuan also noted the impact of rumours that Dragon Capital would flee the Vietnamese stock market in the near future, fuelling heavy profit-taking early in the session.

"The fund's timely feedback helped cheer trading during the session, but the global situation continued to weigh on investors," Tuan said.

The value of trades yesterday totalled VND1.6 trillion (US$84.2 million) on a volume of 52 million shares, with seafood processor Nam Viet (ANV) claiming the position as most-active share, with 2.8 million traded. Petrolimex International Trading Co (PIT) and Rang Dong Lighting Fixture and Vacuum Flask Co (RAL) both managed to gain nearly 5 per cent and close at their ceiling prices.

On the Ha Noi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index dropped by 1.58 per cent to 160.4 points. Trading volume reached 46.7 million shares, worth a total of VND1.4 trillion ($73.7 million), while PetroVietnam Construction (PVX) led trading, with 6.1 million shares changing hands.

HCM City Securities Co analysts said that economic data on Thursday had already been priced in sessions ago, making their market impact insignificant. June trade deficit figures came in a little higher than expected, and GDP data "suggests we will need to see slightly faster growth in the second half," the said.

"In the medium term, our technical analysis sug­gests the market will likely move within a narrow trading range between 481 and 540 during the next several months." — VNS