KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI piled on more gains moving into midday as investor sentiment rose on the possibility of a US rate cut later this week.
At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was up 9.86 points to 1,662.62.
Trading volume was 1.34 billion shares valued at RM1.03bil. There were 408 gainers versus 265 decliners and 363 counters unchanged.
Most KLCI heavyweights were positive with only four decliners and eight counters unchanged.
Tenaga Nasional put on another strong showing, climbing 22 sen to RM13.22, en route to a third straight day of gains.
Maxis also showed buying interesting, rising 11 sen to RM5.59, while Sime Darby Plantation grew 10 sen to RM4.92.
Top traded counters were IWCity jumping 12 sen to RM1.13, Ekovest gaining two sen to 86 sen and Mestron slipping 0.5 sen to 16 sen.
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi signaled more stimulus yesterday, raising expectations that the US central bank would follow suit with a rate cut following its FOMC meeting.
US President Donald Trump's announcement that he will meeting his Chinese counterpart in an extended meeting at the G20 Summit in Japan next week also fanned hopes that there may be some headway made into trade negotiations.
Asian equity markets were a sea of green on the news as investors expected a return to riskier assets.
The Shanghai Composite Index was up 1.5%, the CSI300 Index climbed 2% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index surged 2.4%.
Japan's Nikkei Index was 1.7% higher while South Korea's Kospi Index added 1.2%.
Oil markets continued their upward momentum on rekindled hopes for a US-China trade deal and as investors remained wary over the prospect of conflict between the US and China following attacks on oil tankers in the Middle East.
US crude was lifted 14 cnts to US$54.04 a barrel while Brent crude eked out a two-cent gain to US$62.16 a barrel.
The ringgit was also on the rise following a return of investor interest, gainig 0.1% against the US dollar to 4.1775 and 0.1% against the pound sterling to 5.2458.
It slid 0.2% against the Singapore dollar to 3.0544.