KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI picked up slightly in the morning session as it looked set to end the week along a tight sideways channel.
At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was up 2.57 points to 1,677.09. Trading volume was 2.6 billion shares valued at RM997.76mil.
Trading volume on the stock exchange has been elevated since Wednesday with heavy trading in small-cap oil and gas counters.
Leading the day's activity was Sapura Energy
, which gained two sen to 37 sen and saw 27.6 million shares exchanging hands.
Market breadth on Bursa Malaysia was evenly distributed with 368 advancers versus 361 decliners and 351 counters unchanged.
Digi was the leading gainer on the KLCI, rising nine sen to RM4.62, followed by IOI gaining six sen to RM4.52 and Axiata adding three sen to RM4.19.
Positive news over the progress of the US-China trade talks lent some cheer to global markets although the sluggish pace at which things are shaping up capped trading enthusiasm.
A Chinese news agency reported that Chinese Vice Premier Liu He had had a productive telephone conversation with US officials on a potential trade deal.
However, the US has said that a meeting between the presidents of both nations would not take place at end-March as had been previously reported.
At noon, the Shanghai Composite index was up 1.5% while the CSI 300 Index grew 1.9%. Hong Kong's Hang and Japan's Nikkei both climbed 1% each, while South Korea's Kospi rose 0.6%.
Crude oil prices kept to the flatline on Friday as cocners over slowing demand kept a lid on rising prices due to supply cuts and disruptions.
US crude added two cents US$58.63 a barrel and Brent crude gained three cents US$67.26 a barrel.
The ringgit was unchanged against the US dollar a 4.0900 and unmoved against the Singapore dollar at 3,0184. However, it rose 0.4% against the pound sterling to 5.4170.