KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI rose in morning trade as Asian stocks bounced back from a soft start amid fears that out-of-control US inflation will lead to a recession.
At 12.30pm, the country's key index had retraced earlier losses to lead 3.74 points at 1,415.06.
However, the overall market remained weak with 364 decliners compared with 267 gainers.
Trading volume was 980.31 million shares valued at RM493.79mil.
Leading the blue chips higher, PETRONAS Chemicals gained 12 sen to RM8 and Press Metal rose six sen to RM4.14.,
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Financial services stocks were also up on expectations of continued interest rate hikes. Maybank rose one sen to RM8.62, Public Bank gained two sen to RM4.29 and Hong Leong Bank climbed 12 sen to RM20.26.
The spread of a highly contagious variant of Covid-19 helped to give glove counters a boost.
While market leader Top Glove was unchanged at RM1.01, Hartalega jumped 12 sen to RM2.78, Kossan rose one sen to RM1.29 and Supermax gained 0.5 sen to 82 sen.
Among most actives, Metronic added 2.5 sen to 9.5 sen, TWL lost 0.5 sen to six sen and Jade Marvel was flat at 84.5 sen.
Meanwhile, major Asian markets moved higher from morning lows with Japan's Nikkei climbing 0.7% to 26,654, South Korea's Kospi flat at 2,328, China's composite index rising 0.3% to 3,294 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng gaining 0.25% to 20,848.
In Australia, the ASX200 was up 0.4% to 6,648.