KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's blue chips rebounded to close higher at midday on Wednesday, as investors grew confident of the firmer Asian equities and Wall Street, with gains from banks and plantations supporting the Malaysian bourse.
At 12.30pm, the KLCI rose 6.03 points to 1,734.67. Turnover was 660.62 million valued at RM994.707bil with 373 gainers, 216 losers and 268 unchanged.
Maybank and IOI each added 0.61 point and 1.45 points to the index.
Reuters reported most Asian shares turned around a four-day losing streak and rose on Wednesday as investors took comfort from U.S. data underscoring an American recovery and assurances from China's central bank that it will offer funds to banks if needed.
However, it said fears of a credit crunch and slower loan growth continued to fuel selling of Chinese banking shares in Shanghai. Although China's short-term borrowing rates eased for a fourth day, they remained at elevated levels.
At Bursa Malaysia, Maybank rose four sen to RM10.04, AMMB seven sen to RM7.05 and HLFG 16 sen to RM13.66 but Public Bank fell four sen to RM16.62, CIMB two sen to RM8.03 and RHB Cap one sen to RM8.44.
Crude palm oil fell RM28 to RM2384 but IOI Corp rose 11 sen to RM5.34,Sime Darby three sen to RM9.46 but PPB fell 10 sen to RM13.70 and KL Kepong eight sen to RM21.02.
PetronM rose 12 sen to RM3.33, BIMB 15 sen to RM3.85 and MAHB 15 sen to RM6.15.
PetChem rose six sen to RM6.60 and PetGas 10 sen to RM20.14.
UMW fell 18 sen to RM14.12, Aeon 16 sen to RM15.06 and Top Glove15 sen to RM6.14.
The ringgit weakened to 3.1945 from 3.1825 from the previous close.
Among the key regional markets,
Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.02% to 12,968.77;
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 1.02% to 20,057.80;
Shanghai's Composite Index fell 0.86% to 1,933.59;
Taiwan's Taiex rose 1.74% to 7,796.86;
South Korea's Kospi rose 0.33% to 1,786.44;
Singapore's Straits Times Index rose 0.58% to 3,107.82.
US light crude oil fell 87 cents to US$94.45 and Brent fell 53 cents to US$100.73.
Spot gold fell US$26.52 to US$1,251.14