The FBM KLCI has been trading in a sideways channel in recent days as investors wait out the ongoing lockdown and vaccination efforts to achieve herd immunity.
At 12.30pm, the key index was up 1.41 points to 1,582.58, reflecting investors' reluctance to break out of the range-bound motion.
Adding to the uncertainty is the US Federal Reserve's monetary policy meeting, which enters its second and final day today. While observers expect the central bank to keep to its accomodative policies, there could be signals of higher interest rates due to rapidly rising inflation.
Blue chips with notable price action included IHH up nine sen to RM5.66, MISC rising 14 sen to RM7.15 and Axiata gaining six sen to RM3.98.
On the declining end, Sime Darby Plantation shaved seven sen to RM4.07 while Hartalega dropped eight sen to RM8.40.
Among top actives on the market, KNM was flat at 20.5 sen, DNex dropped 0.5 sen to 88.5 sen and Berjaya Corp fell 2.5 sen to 31 sen.
In Asian markets, equities fell amid fears over possible hawkish signs by the US Fed following its FOMC meeting.
Japan's Nikkei dropped 0.4% while South Korea's Kospi gained 0.5%.
In China, the main index was down 0.8% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.2%
Australia's ASX200 was up 0.1%.