Other heavyweights on the blue-chip index pared losses and advanced as investors digested the details of the 12th Malaysia Plan announced yesterday, even as optimism over the subsiding number of Covid-19 infections boosted hopes of a recovery.
At 12.30pm, the key index was up 6.51 points to 1,539.56. Most of the gains were owing to a 44 sen jump in Petronas Chemicals to RM8.70 as crude oil prices rallied past the US$80 a barrel mark.
Tight supply conditions and a demand recovery have spurred the commodity prices to a fresh multi-year high, providing an upside catalyst to oil and gas counters.
The Bursa Malaysia Energy Index rallied over 4% with an overwhelming majority of counters turning positive. Leading gainers included Hengyuan Refining rising 15 sen to RM4.39, Petron Malaysia adding 11 sen to RM4.42, Yinson jumping 28 sen to RM5.18 and Petra Energy climbing five sen to 84.5 sen.
Meanwhile, aluminium producer Press Metal jumped 16 sen to RM5.76 amid the renewed interest in commodities.
Other sectors on Bursa Malaysia remained subdued, including telco stocks. Axiata was up two sen to RM4.05 but Digi dropped nine sen to RM4.41 while Maxis was unchanged at RM4.68.
Bank counters were also little changed with Maybank adding one sen to RM8.11, Public Bank losing two sen to RM4.06, Hong Leong Bank unchanged at RM18.74 and CIMB flat at RM4.70.
Top actives of the day were Fintec flat at two sen, KNM up one sen to 25.5 sen and Scope down 0.5 sen to 37.5 sen.
In Asian markets, there was some retracement in Chinese markets after days of selling pressure. Both mainland and Hong Kong markets were down yesterday over China Evergrande's ongoing debt crisis following a missed deadline to pay interest to bondholders last Friday.
China's main market rose 0.5% as it retraced some of yesterday's losses. Hong Kong's Hang Seng meanwhile jumped 1.4%.
Japan's Nikkei was down 0.4% and South Korea's Kospi fell 1.1%. Australia's ASX200 slipped 1.2%.