KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI ended the morning session with a slight lead as a strong bounce in PETRONAS Chemicals and Press Metal shored up the index.
At 12.30pm, the key index was up 2.39 points to 1,490.66. There were 468 decliners compared with 240 decliners as the market sentiment remained weak on the ongoing sell-off in regional markets.
Trading volume was 1.36 billion shares valued at R666.98mil.
PETRONAS Chemicals jumped 27 sen to RM9.01 and PETRONAS Gas rose six sen to RM17.12 while Press Metal added 17 sen to RM4.97.
Tenaga Nasional also gained eight sen to RM8.65.,
Meanwhile, bank stocks were mixed. Maybank rose three sen to RM8.93 and Hong Leong Bank added two sen to RM20.90 while IMB shed one sen to RM5.45 and PUblic Bank lost two sne to RM4.64.
Among top actives, Metronic lost 0.5 sen to seven sen, Sapura Energy fell one sen to four sen and Sanichi was flat at 2.5 sen.
In Asian markets, investors sold off equities as strong US economic data and weaker-than-expected Chinese trade numbers weighed on sentiment.
Japan's Nikkei fell 1% to 27,346, South Korea's Kospi tumbled 1.75% to 2,367 and China's composite index was flat at 3,242.
Hong Kong's Hang slid 1.7% to 18,880 and Australia's ASX200 dropped 1.5% to 6,722.