KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia joined key Asian markets to climb higher in early trade on Friday after the rebound on Wall Street and firmer crude oil prices while Eversafe Rubber was in focus on its trading debut.
At 9.27am, the KLCI was up 3.49 points or 0.2% to 1,745.1. Turnover was 511.61 million shares valued at RM189.73mil. There were 303 gainers, 133 losers and 249 counters unchanged.
Japan's Nikkei 225 was up 0.68% to 18,556.52 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index added 0.36% to 24,143.04 and Singapore's STI gained 0.32% to 3,147.96.
Reuters reported oil opened the last day of a choppy trading week on a cautious note over doubts that an OPEC-led production cut was having the desired effect of restoring balance to a market that has been dogged by oversupply for more than two years.
Brent crude futures were at US$53.07 per barrel at 0113 GMT, up eight cents from their last close.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures had also risen eight cents to US$50.79 a barrel.
Maybank Investment Bank Research said technically, although the KLCI is hovering above the 1,740 level, we caution that trading could be choppy in the near-term, as the index tries to establish a base above the current support level.
Eversafe Rubber was up 4.5 sen to 40.5 sen with 43.81 million shares on its trading debut on the ACE Market.
However, Perwaja fell three sen to 2.5 sen in active trade on concerns about its impending de-listing.
Bursa Malaysia Securities rejected the steel mill's application for an extension of time to submit its regularisation plan. Trading in the securities will be suspended with effect from May 2 and de-listed on May 4, 2017 unless an appeal against the de-listing is submitted to Bursa Securities on or before April 28, 2017.
Scientex rose 15 sen to RM8.70, Rev added 14.5 sen to 71.5 sen while Vitrox gained 13 sen to RM5.21. Up 11 sen was PLS to RM1.27.
Bursa Malaysia added 14 sen to RM9.58 and CIMB added 10 sen to RM5.60.
BAT was the top loser, down 46 sen to RM46.60 after it reported lower earnings in the first quarter ended March 31, 2017.
Advance Packaging lost five sen to RM2.25, Tenaga Nasional four sen lower at RM13.76 and IQ Group three sen down to RM3.72.