KUALA LUMPUR: FBM KLCI heavyweights were mostly positive in the morning session as they became targets of investor buying ahead of a possible rate cut by the US Federal Reserve later this week.
At 12.30pm, the local benchmark index was up 5.52 points to 1,643.92.
Among the big caps, gainers included Axiata adding 14 sen to RM4.85, Digi rising 10 sen to RM4.91 and MISC climbing 23 sen to RM7.20.
However, the wider stock exchange showed weakness with 358 decliners verus 245 gainers and 368 counters unchanged.
The overall value of stocks traded for the early session was noticeably low at RM622.41mil with 1.14 billion shares exchanging hands.
Mestron, which made its debut on the ACE Market of Bursa Malaysia today, was the most actively traded counter, rising as much as five sen or 31.25% to 21 sen in intra-morning trade.
The counter ended 1.5 sen higher at 17.5 sen at middaay.
Greatec also continued to see heavy trading interest, for the fourth day since its listing. The stock rose as much as four sen to 94 sen in intra-morning trade but ended the session unchanged at 90 sen.
Key Asian markets had a slow start but were mostly higher by noon on hopes the US central bank will loosen its monetary policy.
Greater China markets were on the rise with the Shanghai Composite Index gaining 0.1%, the CSI300 Index adding 0.3% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index advancing 0.7%.
Japan's Nikkei Index was 0.8% lower while South Korea's Kospi Index climbed 0.4%.
Oil prices continued to gravitate lower on a weakening demand outlook although the tensions in the Middle East helped to pare losses.
US crude was one cent lower at US$51.92 a barrel and Brent crude dropped one cent to US$60.93 a barrel.
In currencies, the ringgit was 0.1% weaker against the US dollar at 4.1823 and 0.15% lower against the Singapore dollar at 3.0509. It rose 0.3% against the pound sterling at 5.2409.