KUALA LUMPUR: Axiata's and Digi's rally chalked up a healthy rebound for the FBM KLCI amid a chaotic outlook resulting from US-China trade talks.
Bolstered by the announced merger, Axiata rose 56 sen to RM4.60 and Digi climbed 42 sen to RM4.94 to lead the morning advance.
At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was up 8.48 points to 1,641.28. Trading volume was 1.72 billion shares valued at RM1.02bil. There were 451 gainers versus 255 decliners and 331 counters unchanged.
Among other notable gainers were Petronas Chemicals adding nine sen to RM8.89, Maybank rising three sen to RM9.01 and Maxis climbing three sen to RM5.46.
Leading the day's trading activity was Bumi Armada
, rising one sen to 22 sen on news that it had secured a RM2.1bil contract from India's Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC) to provide a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel.
Other stocks seeing investor interest were Xinghe unchanged at 2.5 sen and Lambo unchanged at nine sen.
In Asian markets, a mild rebound was underway following yesterday's rout as US President Donald Trump shocked investors by announcing a plan to raise tariffs on US$200bil of Chinese goods.
The news derailed hopes that the two nations were close to signing a trade agreement, with some expecting the deal to come as soon as this Friday.
After losing nearly 6% in the previous session, the Shanghai Composite Index recovered a meek 0.3%. The CSI300 Index also lost nearly 6% and reclaimed 0.7%
Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.2% in Tuesday morning trade after losing 3% in the previous session.
Japan's Nikkei re-opened for business after a 10-day break with a 1.6% decline while South Korea's Kospi, on break yesterday, shed 1.1%.
Oil prices were lower as investors factored the possibility of weaker demand moving forward. US crude slipped seven cents to US$62.18 a barrel and Brent crude fell 18 cents to US$71.06 a barrel.
In currencies, the ringgit was flat against the US dolalr at 4.1475 ahead of Bank Negara's OPR decision later today. It slipped 0.1% against the pound sterling at 5.4431 and the Singapore dollar at 3.0451.