(Updates with close, foreigner trading details, more comments)
HANOI, March 14 (Reuters) - The Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange's Vietnam Index rose 1.04 percent to close at 433.86 points on Wednesday.
Foreigners bought shares valued at 380.89 billion dong ($18.3 million) and sold stocks worth 209.03 billion dong, the exchange said.
Volume of shares traded: 64.09 million shares.
Value: 986.46 billion dong.
Largest gainers, double-click
Largest decliners, double-click
In Hanoi, the HNX Index on the Hanoi Stock Exchange fell 1.79 percent to finish at 69.28 points, with a volume of 67.42 million shares valued at 589.58 billion dong.
Nguyen Hoai Nam, analyst, Kim Eng Securities:
"Stocks extended gains for the second straight day, mainly based on major blue chips including Bao Viet, Sacombank and Masan."
"Liquidity has been falling, meaning the market is weak and is still in the process of consolidation."
"Habubank which drew market attention hit the floor after the central bank rejected rumours it would be merged into Saigon Hanoi Bank and possibly in part due to margin calls by stock brokerages."
"On the bright side, interest rates and inflation are likely to drop, which are main drivers to support."
Doan Tran Phuong Phi, head of brokerage team, Ho Chi Minh City Securities:
"The trading volume has been shrinking these days as concern is mounting over increasing pressure on inflation after the recent (price) rises in essential goods such as fuel and power."
"The market is closely looking when interest rates will actually go down, particularly at a time when many bank loans for the real estate sector will mature this quarter and next."
"With lower cash inflows, stocks could re-test strong support levels at 420-425 points on the main exchange and 68-70 points in the Hanoi market."
Le Thanh Duc, deputy general director, Lien Viet Securities:
"Stocks could fall further in the next two sessions but not much. Cash inflows have not re-strengthened yet. The current situation is mature for fresh merger and acquisition deals." ($1=20,810 dong) (Reporting by Vu Duy)