KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI rose in morning trade in a hopeful sign that a rebound is taking root on the local market.
There was a similar development in the previous morning session although hopes for a positive retracement fizzled as profit-taking led the index to a marginally lower close.
At 12.30pm, the local index rose 3.09 points to 1,625.15. Trading volume was 2.15 billion shares valued at RM1.26bil.
Overall market breadth on Bursa Malaysia remained negative with 439 decliners versus 253 gainers and 385 counters unchanged.
Tenaga Nasional led gains with a 10 sen gain to RM12.26 while Axiata lifted five sen to RM3.93.
Other stocks on the rise include Petronas Chemicals adding three sen to RM8.93 and Public Bank climbing four sen to RM22.58.
On the losing end, Maxis slipped three sen to RM5.35 while Digi dropped three sen to RM4.50
The most active counters on the stock exchange included construction stocks that were seeing profit-taking after a stellar rise in the previous session.
Ekovest fell 8.5 sen to 88.5 sen, IWCIty dropped nine sen to RM1.23 and Gadang slipped 3.5 sen to 91 sen.
Short-selling in EkoVest and IWCity have been suspended for the remainder of the day as their last done prices dropped more than 15 sen/15% from the reference price.
On the regional scene, Chinese stocks continued to see down selling pressure following last Friday's news that Beijing might slow stimulus to the economy after unexpectedly strong economic data last week.
The Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.35% while the CSI300 Index was marginally lower following a rout in the previous session.
Japan's Nikkei and South Korea's Kospi were mostly flat.
Brent crude rose to a fresh five month high as Washington's announcement that it would end all Iran sanction waivers by May triggered supply concerns.
The international benchmark gained 27 cents to US$74.31 a barrel while US crude added 32 cents to US$65.88 a barrel
Amid the rise in oil prices, the local currency also put on some weight as it gained 0.1% against the greenback at 4.1267, 0.25% against the pound sterling at 5.3598 and 0.15% against the Singapore dollar at 3.0434.