KUALA LUMPUR: The local market resumed its ascent on Friday as regional markets received a lift from Wall Street's bullish overnight closing that saw major indexes reach record highs.
At 12.30pm, the 30-stock index was up four points to 1,820.88 points. Turnover on Bursa Malaysia in the morning session was 1.85 billion shares worth RM1.33bil. There were 350 advancers versus 297 decliners and 619 counters unchanged.
Investors reacted to a report on StarBiz Premium yesterday that Kuchai Development could be a major beneficiary of Great Eastern's impending listing on Bursa Malaysia.
At midday, Kuchai had reached limit-up, rising 52 sen or 29.55% to RM2.28.
Major stakeholders in Kuchai were also on investors' radar screens. Kluang Rubber surged 80 sen or 21.92% to Rm4.45 while Sungei Bagan Rubber shot up 40 sen or 12.35% to RM3.64.
In KLCI-component counters, Malaysia's largest lenders were on the rise with Ambank gaining seven sen to RM4.68, Maybanks, adding one sen to RM9.85, RHB putting on two sen to RM5.16 and Public Bank gaining four sen to RM20.90.
CIMB saw up bullish momentum in early trade on news that it was divesting a partial stake in its joint ventures with Principal Financial Group. However, by midday, it finished unchanged at RM6.75.
Genting Malaysia saw a four sen lift to RM5.50 while Genting added five sen to RM9.23.
Press Metal also saw some upwards movement, gaining 12 sen to RM5.65.
In Petronas counters, Petronas Gas rose 50 sen to to RM19, Petronas Chemicals gained two sen to RM8.09 and Petronas Dagangan added two sen to RM25.
Hong Leong Bank was in the red, dropping two sen to RM17.44, while Hong Leong Financial Group dipped two sen to RM17.82.
Decliners on the wider market included Edaran, which fell eight sen to 74 sen, and Pharmaniaga, which dropped eight sen to RM4.07.
OIl prices retreated from three-year highs achieved in the previous session. US light crude dropped 21 cents to US$63.59 a barrel while Brent crude dipped one cent to US$69.25.
In currencies, the ringgit pushed higher against the greenback, rising 0.41% to 3.9713. It also rose 0.1% against the Singapore dollar at 2.9883 and was marginally stronger against the pound sterling at 5.3796.