KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia rebounded in Thursday morning trade as financial and telco stocks lifted the market.
However, key Asian markets were a sea of red as a potentially severe escalation in the US-China trade war loomed overhead.
Japan's Nikkei slipped 0.2% while China's blue-chip index slipped 0.2% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index dipped 0.5%
At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was up 4.12 points to 1,799.62. Trading volume was 1.12 billion shares valued at RM754.01mil. There were 251 gainers versus 472 decliners and 367 counters unchanged.
Axiata rebounded on Thursday following five consecutive sessions of losses that saw its share price drop 7%. At midday, the stock was up six sen to RM4.54.
Other telco counters followed, with Digi rising two sen to RM4.64 and Maxis adding two sen to RM5.78.
In banking stocks, Maybank edged up one sen to RM9.88, Public Bank put on two sen to RM25, CIMB added three sen to RM5.90 and Hong Leong Bank was unchanged at RM20.46.
On the broader arket Panasonic grew 60 sen to RM38.60, Aeon Credit
rose 16 sen to RM15.72 and Padini climbed 15 sen to RM5.90.
Losing momentum, UMS fell 20 sen to RM2.10, Petron Malaysia
dropped 16 sen to RM8.58 and Dutch Lady
dipped 10 sen to RM66.20.
Oil prices dipped on Thursday as emerging market woes weighed on sentiment, while a deadline neared for a potential new round of U.S. tariffs on another $200 billion of Chinese goods, Reuters reports.
WTI crude slipped nine cents to US$68.64 a barrel while Brent crude slipped one cent to US$77.26 a barrel.
The march of the US dollar appeared to have halted on Thursday, giving a reprieve to emerging market currencies.
The ringgit held steady against the greenback at 4.1473 and was slightly weaker against the Singapore dollar at 3.0114. It fell 0.7% against the pound sterling at 5.3552.