KUALA LUMPUR: Local equities picked up steam over the course of the morning session to break above the 1,800-point psychological level.
Global markets have seen renewed optimism since news broke late Wednesday that the White House had extended an invitation to Beijing for a second round of trade talks.
On Friday, Investor interest in emerging market currencies and equities were also buoyed by US data that showed a slower pace of inflation and Turkey raising interest rates to prop up its currency.
At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was 11.09 points higher at 1,803.69. Turnover for the first half of the trading day was 1.65 billion shares valued at RM1.22bil. Market breadth was positive with 485 advancers versus 275 decliners and 341 counters unchanged.
Digi added the most lift to the market with a 16 sen push to RM4.80. CIMB tacked on gains for the second straight day with a 12 sen advance to RM6.21.
Among other heavyweights, Axiata climbed six sen to RM4.61, IHH Healthcare rose six sen to RM5.31 and Sime Darby Plantation grew seven sen to RM5.30.
There were few decliners on the 30-stock index. Hap Seng Consolidation lost one sen to RM9.88, MAHB weighed seven sen to RM8.97 and Hong Leong Financial Group slid two sen to RM19.48.
was the most actively traded stock in the morning session, rising 3.5 sen to 48 sen as buying momentum continued on news of the 50% stake sale of its oil and gas arm.
Meanwhile, Dutch Lady
rose 86 sen to RM66, Litrak gained 21 sen to RM5.13 and Mi Equipment jumped 19 sen to RM2.92.
Affin Hwang Capital Research said in a report that Mi had made a breakthrough in Q2 this year when it managed to expand beyond its core market segment to deliver tester and fan out wafer level sorter equipment.
The research house reaffirmed its buy call on the counter with a higher target price of RM3.49 from RM2.57 previously.
On the losing end, BAT fell 58 sen to RM33.62, Vitrox lost nine sen to RM7.82 and LPI dropped eight sen to RM16.92.
Oil prices retraced some losses from the previous session, when prices fell the most in a month, as concerns about oil supply offset worries that emerging market crises and trade disputes could dent demand, Reuters reported.
WTI crude rose 21 cents to US$68.80 a barrel while Brent crude gained 16 cents to US$78.34 a barrel.
In currencies, the ringgit strengthened slightly against the greenback at 4.1420. It slipped 0.5% against the pound sterling at 5.4337 and was little changed against the Singapore dollar at 3.0232.