Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average topped 30,000 points for the first time as a third pharmaceutical comapny announced the successful trials of its Covid-19 vaccine.
At 12.30pm, the Malaysian key index rose 15.44 points to 1,593.83.
Financial heavyweights jumped on improved prospects for the economic recovery, led by Public Bank rising 46 sen to RM18.84. Maybank climbed eight sen to RM8.21, Hong Leong Bank added 26 sen to RM17.10 and CIMB put on 14 sen to RM3.78.
"Amid the renewed volatility, the financial services sector appears to be more defensive as investors continue to bargain hunt," said Malacca Securities Research in its morning outlook.
The research house has pegged support levels at 1,570 and 1,540 and resistance levels at 1,600 and 1,610.
Meanwhile, oil and gas counters were among the top traded counters amid the increase in crude oil prices.
Brent crude extended its gains by 56 cents or over 1% to US$48.42 after jumping almost 4% in the previous session.
WTI crude was 49 cents higher at US$45.43 a barrel after adding more than 4% previously.
On Bursa Malaysia, Sapura Energy was the top traded stock with 380.5 million shares traded. It rose one sen to 12.5 sen.
Other O&G-related counters included Bumi Armada up 1.5 sen to 28.5 sen, KNM rising one sen to 20.5 sen and Hibiscus Petroleum adding 3.5 sen to 62.5 sen
In Asian markets, equities were rallying on the latest vaccine news although China's key index was 0.2% lower. Japan's Nikkei rose 1% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.85%.
Australia's ASX200 gained 0.75% and South Korea's Kospi added 0.25%.
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