KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia continued its ascent in Thursday morning trade with a rally in Maybank shares leading the way even as regional markets staged a rebound.
While sentiment over the US-China trade dispute remained negative, low valuations from the recent declines have led to bargain-hunting by investors, helping to firm up markets ahead of what may be more tariff announcements.
At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was up 7.41 points to 1,696.18. Trading volume was 1.24 billion shares with a value of RM815.7mil. There were 365 advancers versus 291 decliners and 363 counters unchanged.
Among banks, Maybank was up 22 sen to RM9.36 while Public Bank put on 14 sen to RM22.94 and CIMB edge up by one sen to RM5.39. Hong Leong Bank, however, stepped back 10 sen to RM18.32.
In telcos, Axiata added two sen to RM4.04, Maxis gained two sen to RM5.42 and Digi rose one sen to RM4.20.
On the declining end, Tenaga Nasional slid two sen to RM14.48 and Petronas Chemicals lost two sen to RM8.52.
Glove markers were in the spotlight in light of the view that the local sector would benefit from the tariffs imposed on Chinese rubber glove imports.
"We believe that Malaysia exporters will be able to benefit from it, building on their 60% market-share base," said Affin Hwang Capital Research in its Thursday report.
Hartalega gained 21 sen to RM5.98, Kossan
rose 25 sen to RM8.25 and Supermax gained 11 sen to RM4.17. Top Glove, which has come under selling pressure of late following its legal suit against the vendors of Aspion, was flat at RM9.89.
Moving lower, BAT lost 80 sen to RM32.60, United Plantation slipped 20 sen to RM26.70 and Hengyuan slid nine sen to RM5.87.
Brent crude oil price rebounded strongly on Thursday following the previous session's steep decline following the announcement that Libya would resume oil exports.
The global benchmark rose US$1.13 a barrel to US$74.53. Meanwhile, WTI crude rose 42 cents to US$70.80 a barrel.
On the forex market, the ringgit slipped 0.11% against the greenback to 4.0415 and 0.11% against the Singapore dollar at 2.9668. It strengthened 0.13% against the pound sterling at 5.3375.