Bank Negara said Malaysia’s economy shrank 4.5% in the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2021, compared with a 16.1% expansion in the previous quarter, on contractions across the services, manufacturing and construction sectors.
A median forecast by a Reuters poll of 20 economists had pegged the contraction at 1.3%, with individual forecasts ranging from minus-6% to plus-1%, underscoring the widespread uncertainty over the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
At 12.30pm, the country's benchmark stock index was up 8.17 points to 1,527.02, signaling a strong rebound from the losses in recent days.
Maybank jumped 10 sen to RM8.10, Hong Leong Bank climbed 10 sen to RM18.24 and CIMB added two sen to RM5.03 while Public Bank was unchanged.
Press Metal was also up six sen to RM5.35, bouncing back from recent losses despite reports that China's demand for aluminium might fall due to disrupted production from power curbs.
Meanwhile, plantations gained with IOI rising two sen to RM3.84 and Sime Darby Plantation adding seven sen to RM3.99.
On the broader market, top actives were DNeX rising two sen to 85 sen, AirAsia X adding 1.5 sen to 7.5 sen and NWP gaining one sen to 34.5 sen.
In regional markets, equities jumped back after the initial shock from high US inflation data.
Japan's Nikkei was up 1% and South Korea's Kospi rose 1.45%.
China's composite index was flat while Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.2%.
Australia's ASX200 jumped 0.9%.