KUALA LUMPUR: Asian stocks resumed their climb on Friday as the US Federal Reserve said it would practise "patience" before raising interest rates again while US-China trade talks are set to resume at a higher level.
Investors had taken a break from buying in Thursday's session as they awaited more concrete leads. The overnight news of further efforts by policymakers to stem the economic slowdown was enough to re-energise buying interest.
The local market showed a broad-based advance with 413 gaining counters versus 294 decliners and 323 unchanged.
However, as at midday break the FBM KLCI had descended from an early morning push to end 1.86 points lower at 1,677.02. From a technical perspective, the index is seeing resistance in the form of the 50-day simple moving average.
Trading volume was 1.6 billion shares valued at RM850.06mil.
The four most heavily weighted counters on the FBM KLCI led the index into the red in the morning session. Maybank lost four sen to RM9.41, Public Bank dropped 12 sen to RM2.68, Tenaga Nasional fell eight sen to RM13.78 while Petronas Chemicals trimmed six sen to RM8.46.
Gains were seen in MISC rising six sen to RM6.49, KL Kepong adding 10 sen to RM24.06 and Maxis climbing two sen to RM5.66.
Top active counters included FGV jumping nine sen to 87.5 sen, VS Industry gaining 4.5 sen to 91 sen and Bumi Armada
adding 0.5 sen to 16 sen.
Leading advancers on Bursa Malaysia were Dutch Lady
rising 40 sen to RM61.40, KESM climbing 25 sen to RM8.85 and Chin Teck adding 20 sen to RM7.
Laggards were Shangri-La sliding 30 sen to RM5.59, United Plantation losing 30 sen to RM25.50 and BAT falling 30 sen to RM36.06.
Oil prices slid back on Friday as lingering worries over the global economy although they remained on track for a strong weekly gain. US crude shed 11 cents to US$52.48 a barrel while Brent crude slid 16 cents to US$61.52 a barrel.
In currencies, the ringgit rose 0.1% against the greenback to 4.0955. It dipped 0.1% against the pound sterling to 5.2275 and 0.1% against the Singapore dollar at 3.0312.