Vietnam's benchmark VN Index ended down on Tuesday but the losses were limited by buying in some blue-chips.
However, further falls are likely in coming days due to continued tension over a sea dispute with China, analysts said.
The index lost 0.61 percent to close at 513.91 points, slowing from a fall of nearly 5 percent the previous session.
"The market remains on a downward trend, and in the short term tension at the East Sea (with China) has influence on sentiment," said Nguyen Thanh Lam, a senior analyst at Maybank Kim Eng Securities, referring to the South China Sea.
Low volume on Tuesday showed many investors preferred to stay on the sidelines, Lam said, adding that the market still lacked stability and could face more falls over the next week.
Tensions rose in the resource-rich South China Sea last week after China positioned a giant oil rig in an area claimed by Vietnam. Each country accused the other of ramming its ships near the disputed Paracel Islands.
Buying in some blue-chips provided support, with gains in property firm HAGL, PV Drilling and Eximbank helping narrow the decline.
Here is a snapshot of the VN Index at the close (0801 GMT).