In morning trade, Asian markets were up across the board with the Shanghai Composite Index adding 1.65%, the Nikkei rising 1.4% and the Kospi gaining 0.75%.
The FBM KLCI got off to a slow start in the hour of trading but ramped up over the course of the morning, ending 6.89 points higher to 1,670.75 at midday. Trading volume was just a little over one billion shares with a value of RM866.81mil.
Market breadth, however, was negative as there were 457 decliners to 211 advancers and 347 counters unchanged.
SOme key heavyweights helped to pull up the market with Axia rising 11 sen to RM3.96, Maybank putting on eight sen to RM9.05, Petronas Chemicals gaining 10 sen to RM8.54 and Tenaga Nasional advancing 12 sen to RM14.37.
Combined, the four counters lifted the FBM KLCI by about 5.35 points.
IHH Healthcare led the declines on the index, sliding 14 sen to RM5.85. Other notable decliners included KL Kepong, slipping 24 sen to RM24, Telekom Malaysia, dipping five sen to RM3.35 and Hartalega, slipping five sen to RM5.75.
Top Glove saw strong selling pressure in morning trade on the back of news that it was taking legal action against the vendors of Aspion Sdn Bhd, which it had acquired in April.
At 12.30pm, the rubber glove maker was down RM3.07 or 25.37% to RM9.03, partially recovering from its limit-down price of RM8.47 earlier in the day. The counter was heavily traded to the tune of 31.6 million shares.
On the rising end of the market F&N rose RM1.26 to RM30.02 while BAT gained 24 sen to RM34.24 and MPI added 16 sen to RM9.86.
Oil prices rose on as investors focused on tight market conditions after data late last week showed U.S. crude inventories fell to their lowest in more than three years, Reuters reported.
WTI crude gained 27 cents to US$74.07 a barrel while Brent crude put on 36 cents to US$77.47.
In currencies, the ringgit was slightly stronger against the US dollar at 4.0345 as the prospect of rising oil prices bolstered the currency. However, it slipped 0.3% against the pound sterling at 5.3653 and 0.21% against the Singapore dollar at 2.9747.
Source: The Star