KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI kept a positive lead amid growing investor sentiment over the country’s transition to normalcy.

At 12.30pm, the key index was up 9.25 points to 1,573.15, boosted by financial counters and commodities plays.

Maybank rose eight sen to RM8.13 to lead the advance while Public Bank added three sen to RM4.11, CIMB jumped eight sen to RM4.98 and Hong Leong Bank gained 10 sen to RM18.70.

Some of the leading commodity counters from the ongoing recovery included Press Metal gaining nine sen to RM6.18, Petronas Chemicals rising seven sen to RM8.75 and Sime Darby Plantation adding three sen to RM4.27.

Aviation counters meanwhile were buoyed by the government’s announcement that inter-state travel was now allowed, while overseas travellers were no longer required to apply for a travel pass.

Airport operator MAHB gained 16 sen to RM6.97 while budget airline AirAsia rose nine sen to RM1.28 and AirAsia X added two sen to 10.5 sen.

Top active counters were Serba Dinamik rising 4.5 sen to 41 sen, Borneo Oil unchanged at three sen and Kanger adding 0.5 sen to 6.5 sen.

Asian shares started shaky on Monday as investors shifted away from equities and into commodities amid rising inflation pressure. However, equities retraced losses, spurred on by expectations that China’s tech sector was stabilising.

Japan’s Nikkei rose 1.6% while South Korea’s Kospi dipped 0.1%.

China’s main index added 0.4% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng surged 2.2% to its highest in nearly a month on speculation that Beijing’s crackdown on the tech sector could be coming to an end.

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