At 12.30pm, the local index was up 1.11 points to 1,633.35. Trading volume was 1.51 billion shares valued at RM918.22mil. There were 368 decliners versus 310 advancers and 364 counters unchanged.
The benchmark had started the day in the red, losing as much as 6.7 points in intra-morning trade before retracing at midday as the government released data that showed exports contracted 0.5% year-on-year in March, beating Bloomberg's survey predictions of a 3.4% decline.
Kenanga research had forecast short-term consolidation for the week given the weakness in momentum indicators.
"A decisive take-down of the 1,660 (R1) is vital for the local index to trend upwards towards 1,700 (R2).
"Reluctance to go beyond R1, would see the index retrace towards 1,615 (S1) and 1,600 (S2)," it said in its technical outlook.
Most active stocks on the stock exchange included Ekovest rising 4.5 sen to 87 sen, IWCity gaining 5.5 sen to RM1 and Impiana adding 0.5 sen to five sen.
On the KLCI, counters with notable price action included Genting slipping 12 sen to RM6.89, Hong Leong Bank adding eight sen to RM19.92 and Digi rising four sen to RM4.48.
Elsewhere, trading activity remained muted as China's and Japan's markets stayed shuttered for holidays.
Meanwhile, investors pared expectations of a US rate cut following comments by the Federal Reserve.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng stayed flattish while South Korea's Kospi slid 0.7% and Australia's ASX200 gained 0.15%.
Oil prices extends a sharp fall from the previous session with Brent approaching the US$70 a barrel mark on the back of surging US output and an expected supply increase from Opec.
US crude slid 22 cents to US$61.59 a barrel and Brent dropped 37 cents to US$70.38 a barrel.
In currencies, the ringgit was 0.1% lower against the greenbck at 4.1423. It was flat against the pound sterling at 5.3993 and Singapore dollar at 3.0391.
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