KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 10 (Bernama) -- Bursa Malaysia bucked the trend of most of its Asian peers to stay in positive territory at mid-afternoon today on higher crude oil prices.
A dealer said the rally in crude oil prices had boosted buying interest for oil and gas-related stocks, such as Petronas-linked counters.
At 12.30 pm, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) was 3.52 points higher at 1,808.47 from Thursday's close of 1,804.95.
The index opened 0.68 point easier at 1,804.27 and moved between 1,804.09 and 1,812.69 throughout the morning session.
Market breadth was slightly negative with losers trouncing gainers 370 to 336 with 424 unchanged, 765 untraded and 32 others suspended.
Volume stood at 1.07 billion units valued at RM709.42 billion.
Regionally, Singapore's Straits Times Index lost 1.21 per cent to 3,286.50, Japan's Nikkei retreated 0.8 per cent to 22,417.48 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was 0.46 per cent weaker at 28,474.38. Meanwhile, on the technical front, Kenanga Research said the FBM KLCI had been on a bullish run since mid-July.
"However, we are watchful because stochastic indicators had been in overbought territory without any corrections over the past two weeks," it said in a note today.
The research house said it did not discount the possibility of seeing corrections towards the support levels of 1,750 points and 1,720 points.
"Should it be able to break out from the 1,830-point resistance level, it may then signal a continuation of a bullish run as the next resistance level is at 1,870-point," it added.
Of Petronas-linked heavyweights, Petronas Gas rose 20 sen to RM19.18, Petronas Chemicals added four sen to RM9.24 and Petronas Dagangan was 12 sen firmer at RM26.96.
Both Petronas Gas and Petronas Dagangan were also among the top 10 gainers on the local bourse.
Other top gainers included United Plantations which improved 48 sen to RM27.68, while BAT advanced 44 sen to RM34.74, United Malacca and Malaysia Airports grew 30 sen each to RM6.40 and RM9.88 respectively, and F&N increased 18 sen to RM37.80.
Among actives, Nova MSC and Key Asic inched up one sen each to 19 sen and 22.5 sen respectively, Foundpac was two sen better at 40 sen, Borneo Oil was unchanged at six sen while Destini was half-a-sen easier at 34.5 sen.
The FBM Emas Index strengthened 25.14 points to 12,792.02, the FBM Emas Shariah Index garnered 25.46 points to 12,964.74 and the FBM Ace Index was 28.06 points better at 5,529.63.
The FBMT 100 Index propped up 24.93 points to 12,568.64 and the FBM 70 edged up 32.61 points to 15,626.81.
Sector-wise, the Finance Index accumulated 13.58 points to 17,595.03, the Plantation Index climbed 15.67 points to 7,719.85 and the Industrial Index was up 10.71 points at 3,286.29.