At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was 1.37 points higher to 1773.85. Turnover was 1.37 billion shares valued at RM967.296mil. The broader market was stronger with 361 advancers versus 265 losers, and 456 counters unchanged.
Tenaga Nasional was the top gainer on the KLCI, rising 10 sen to RM14.50. Other gainers include Astro Malaysia, which gained four sen to RM2.67, and Axiata, which rose four sen to RM5.03.
In banking stocks, AMMB fell one sen to RM4.31, Public Bank dropped two sen to RM20.58 and RHB fell one sen to RM5.06. CIMB rose two sen to RM6.77 while Maybank and Hong Leong Bank were unchanged.
Petrochemicals major Petronas Chemicals rose three sen to RM7.42 on news that it may see upsides from the disruption of oil Ethylene plants on the US Gulf Coast, especially as we enter the peak season for petrochemicals.
"We estimate the total production loss of Ethylene could range between 1.2 to 2.4 mmt, equaling to 0.5 to 1% of global consumption," Maybank Investment Research said in a research report on Thursday.
Oil prices fell on Thursday but maintained much of this week's strong gains as high global refining margins and the reopening of US Gulf Coast refineries improved the outlook after the sharp falls caused by Harvey, according to Reuters.
WTI Crude shaved eight cents or 0.16% to US$49.08 while Brent Crude dropped 18 cents or 0.33% to US$54.02.
On the KLCI, Petronas Dagangan fell 34 sen to RM24.26 whole Petronas Gas dropped 12 sen to RM18.26.
Electronics manufacturer Panasonic continued to attract investor interest following the declaration of a dividend payout of RM1.02 at last Wednesday's AGM. At midday, the counter was up RM1 to RM38.50.
Fashion retailer Padini gained 21 sen to reach a record high of RM4.46 on upbeat analysts' report and a 2.5 sen a share dividend going ex on Sept 16.
Investment holding company Olympia Industries gained 1.5 sen to 16 sen on news that it is selling its entire stake in Jupiter Securities to CIMB for RM55mil.
On the forex market, the ringgit strengthened against major currencies. It rose 0.53% against the US dollar at 4.2162, 0.56% against the pound sterling at 5.5007 and 0.29% against the Singapore dollar at 3.1282.