KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's benchmark stock index remained slightly higher at midday as investors remained optimistic over the recent buying interest in equities.
However, despite the interest in local blue chips, the overall market was negative with 453 decliners compared with 289 gainers, suggesting investors remained cautious and were taking profit from the recent rally.
At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was up 1.29 point to 1,507.48. Trading volume was 1.37 billion shares exchanging hands for a value of RM899.9mil.
Rubber glove manufacturers were seeing strong selling pressure and were among the most heavily traded on Bursa Malaysia in the morning session.
Topping the actives list, Top Glove dove seven sen to 78.5 sen on the back of 117.93 million shares exchanging hands. Kossan Rubber Industries fell eight sen to 99 sen and Hartalega dropped 12 sen to RM1.88, also on heavy trading volume.,
Bank counters, which had risen on the back of better-than-expected economic growth in the second quarter of the year, took a step back. Maybank slipped four sen to RM8.93, CIMB lost one sen to RM5.42 and RHB shed three sen to RM5.92. Public Bank however rose two sen to RM8.80.
Tenaga Nasional was up 10 sen to RM8.73 while IHH gained three sen to RM6.52.
Telcos were up led by Axiata gaining five sen to RM2.95 and Maxis rising four sen to RM3.83.
In Asia, markets tracked Wall Street's higher Friday close although Chinese equities wobbled as the government reduced key lending rates after economic reports showed missed forecasts and slowing growth in the economy.
Japan's Nikkei rose 1.2% to 28,884, South Korea's Kospi gained 0.2% to 2,527 while China's composite index was down 0.1% to 3,274.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.3% to 20,118 while Australia's ASX200 rose 0.6% to 7,073.