KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KCLI entered midday with a slight lead but was unable to make much headway past the 1,600-point psychological level.
At 12.30pm, the benchmark index was up 1.94 points to 1,600.91, in line with most regional markets as investors took pause after a strong rally earlier in the week.
Bank counters were subdued although CIMB rallied seven sen to RM5.34.
Press Metal jumped 12 sen to RM6.26, Sime Darby Plantation rose six sen to RM5.11 and Kuala Lumpur Kepong gained six sen to RM25.52.
Tech counters continued to recover with MPI gaining RM1.70 to RM39.28, D&O rising eight sen to RM4.78 and Greatech climbing 13 sen to RM4.84.
DNeX was the top active counter, up one sen to RM1.05 while AHB dropped 0.5 sen to 16 sen and Sapura Energy was flat at three sen.
Meanwhile, major Asian markets turned negative as investors continued to digest the hawkish US monetary policy, shifts in Chinese policy and price volatility in commodity markets owing to the Ukraine war.
Japan's Nikkei dropped 0.3%, South Korea's Kospi was flat while China's composite index fell 0.5%.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng slid 1.6% as investors took cash out of a recent rally ahead of more corporate earnings to be revealed.
Australia's ASX200 was up 0.3%.