The Nikkei touched 21,346.07 in morning trade, its highest since 1996, and closed 0.6% higher at 21.284.4 points at midday.
On the local bourse, the KLCI was looking poorly, dropping 3.17 points to 1,752.15 points. Turnover was 1.7 billion shares with a value of RM873.83mil. There were 353 decliners versus 256 advancers with 522 counters unchanged.
On the KLCI, telcos shaved points off the index with Axiata dropping 12 sen to RM5.15, Maxis declining three sen to RM5.85 and Digi dipping three sen to RM4.85.
In the financial sector, Public Bank weighed, dipping eight sen to RM20.42. Maybank dropped three sen to RM9.48 and CIMB slipped one sen to RM6.31. Hong Leong Bank shaved off 10 sen to RM15.92 while RHB dipped one sen to RM5.14. Ambank was unchanged at RM4.47.
Hong Leong Finance put on 16 sen to RM16.96
British American Tobacco was among the large market caps that weighed, dropping 42 sen to RM42.56.
Among the gainers, Genting rose three sen to RM9.47 and Genting Malaysia added seven sen to RM5.33. Sime Darby rose two sen to RM9.07 while Tenaga Nasional gained two sen to RM14.22.
On the broader market, rubber glove manufacturers were seen in a positive light as news surfaced that China was experiencing a disruption to its vinyl glove production.
Top Glove, already buoyed by positive Q4 earnings, saw a further rise in share price by 29 sen to RM6.30 in morning trade. Hartalega was another glove maker on the list of gainers, rising 22 to RM7.70, while Kossan was up 14 sen to RM7.20.
Iskandar Waterfront City is on investors' radar screens again, rising 18 sen to RM1.46. Other leading gainers include Superlon, gaining 13 sen to RM2.20, and Batu Kawan, adding 24 sen to RM19.90.
Decliners included Petron Malaysia, falling 14 sen to RM11.22, and PLB, dipping eight sen to RM 2.10.
Oil prices jumped as tensions escalated between the Iraqi government and Kurdish forces near the oil-producing city of Kirkuk. WTI Crude rose 43 cents to US$51.88 a barrel while Brent Crude added 65 cents to US$57.82.
In currencies, the ringgit traded 0.08% stronger against the US dollar at 4.2485, 0.21% stronger against the pound sterling at 5.6055 and 0.17% weaker against the Singapore dollar at 3.1216.
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