KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI bounced higher on Wedneday as investors picked up bargains ahead of the release of corporate earnings.
At 12.30pm, the key index was up 4.62 points to 1,569.67.
A jump in most blue chips, led by banks and commodities plays led the index higher even as a slump in glove counters partially offset some gains.
Maybank rose nine sen to RM7.98, CIMB added seven sen to RM4.26 and Hong Leong Bank climbed eight sen to RM17.48. Meanwhile, aluminium manufacturer Press Metal rose 19 sen to RM8.91 and Kuala Lumpur Kepong climbed 28 sen to RM23.50.
Glove stocks meanwhile continued to display weakness ahead of the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine. Top Glove dove 33 sen to RM5.34 and Hartalega skidding 56 sen to RM10.50 while Supermax lost 37 sne to RM5.08.
"We expect the arrival of the second batch of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine today and the vaccine distribution to different states will continue to attract buying interest in recovery-themed stocks moving forward," said Malacca Securites Research.
In line with this, the research house looks favourably upon the tourism and aviation sectors as well as the energy sector given the elevated price of Brent crude oil.
The top traded stocks were XOX up 0.5 sen ot 9.5 sen, Metronic up one sen to 11.5 sen and Technax slipping two sen to 17 sen.
Elsewhere, most Asian markets retreated on the back of a slide in technology counters. South Korea's Kospi dropped 0.9%.
China's composite index continued its correction, slumping 1.55% amid fears of tightening policy while Hong Kong's Hang Seng dove 1.9%.
Australia's ASX200 was down 0.8%.