KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI erased losses made earlier in the day to end the morning session slightly higher even as regional markets slumped.
At 12.30pm, the key index was up 0.44 points to 1,397.94. There were 503 gainers compared with 210 decliners. Trading volume was 929.56 million shares valued at RM678.55mil.
Stocks scrambled higher as investors on the domestic market picked up bargains ahead of Corporate Malaysia's third quarter earnings season and speculation over the national budget intensified.
Most bank stocks firmed up with Maybank rising two sen to RM8.58, Public Bank gaining one sen to RM4.21 and Hong Leong Bank adding four sen to RM20.32.
Tenaga Nasional however continued to weigh on the market with a 13 sen loss to RM8.12.
Among top actives, Top Glove managed to bounce 1.5 sen higher to 60 sen, Green Ocean rose 0.5 sen to 1.5 sen and HM lost 1.5 sen to 10.5 sen.
In other parts of Asia, major markets headed for their worst month since the start of the global pandemic amid talk of unrelenting interest rate hikes despite a looming recession.
Japan's Nikkei lost 2.2% to 25,843, South Korea's Kospi dropped 0.3% to 2,163 and China's composite index fell 0.2% to 3,034.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng slid 0.1% to 17,154 while Australia's ASX200 dove 1.2% to 6,477.