KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI was mildly higher at midday as the start of the US corporate earnings season helped to lift the mood in global markets.
At 12.30, the benchmark index was up 3.94 points to 1,601.12. The market breadth was split down the middle with 404 gainers and decliners each.
Picking up on the increase in energy prices, Petronas Chemicals was up 16 sen to RM10.42 and Press Metal climbed 18 sen to RM6.64.
Bank stocks were mixed with Hong Leong Bank picking up 22 sne to RM20.80 and Public Bank gaining one sen to RM4.68 although CIMB slid 14 sen to RM5.15.
In the tech setor, stocks lost earlier momentum and turned mixed at midday. MPI rose 30 sen to RM32.84, D&O lost 11 sen to RM4.04 and Vitrox slid eight sen to RM7.61.
Among actives, KGroup was fat at one sen, Permaju rose 1.5 sen to 10 sen and and Sapura Energy gained 0.5 sen to four sen.
Meanwhile, Asian markets gained on hopes that the latest US inflation data showed price increases may be close to peaking.
Japan's Nikkei rose 1.2%, South Korea's Kospi gained 0.1% and China's composite index climbed 0.7%.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.4% while Australia's ASX200 rallied 0.6%.