KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI erased its losses from earlier in the day and made gains as investors sought out bargains from the oversold market.
At 12.30pm, the key index was up 7.07 points to 1,471.9, a sharp reversal from nearly 14 points of losses recorded in the first half hour of trading.
The overall market however remained negative with 536 decliners compared with 333 gainers.
Local blue chips could be tracking US futures, which are rebounding after two days of steep declines following the release of US inflation data for May.
Leading the index higher was Sime Darby Plantation climbing 18 sen to RM4.70, Petronas Chemicals adding 14 sen to RM9.70 and IHH rising 10 sen to RM6.32.
Retail and consumer counters also bounced with Nestle gaining RM2 to RM134, Carlsberg adding 32 sen to RM22.50 and Heineken rising 22 sen to RM24.30.
Most active counters were Unitrade down four sen to 28 sen, DNex down 0.5 sen to 90 sen and Top Glove flat at RM1.03.
In major Asian markets, the sentiment was less positive as investors fretted over the S&P500’s overnight plunge into a bear market.
Much caution remains as the US Federal Open Market Committee meeting, scheduled for later this week, is expected to decide on further rate hikes to rein in the soaring inflation.
In Japan, the Nikkei fell 1.7%, South Korea’s Kospi dropped 0.8% and China’s composite index fell 1.6%.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped 0.9% while Australia’s ASX200 dove a whopping 4.4% as the Australian stock exchange reopened following a long weekend.