Published: Friday March 8, 2013 MYT 12:54:00 PM
Updated: Friday March 8, 2013 MYT 1:32:23 PM
FBM KLCI ends morning session higher
KUALA LUMPUR: Blue chips managed to recoup some of their early losses to end higher at midday on Friday, tracking the gains on regional markets, though trading volume was relatively thin ahead of the weekend.
At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was up 0.93 point to 1,651.86. Turnover was 369.96 million shares valued at RM579.4 million. There were 312 gainers, 220 losers and 279 counters unchanged.
Bloomberg reported that China's exports exceeded forecasts in February, an indication that improving global demand may help to sustain the rebound in the world's second largest economy.
Among the regional markets, Japan's Nikkei 225 climbed 2.01% to 12,208.48, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index gained 1.15% to 23,034.05, Shanghai's Composite Index shed 0.18% to 2,320.00, Taiwan's Taiex inched up 0.63% to 8010.92.
South Korea's Kospi declined 0.19% to 2,000.59 and Singapore's Straits Times Index inched down 0.15% to 3,293.59.
On the local front, interests in penny stocks were seen picking up amid a steadier broader market.
Scomi rose 2.5 sen to 35.5 sen with 19.38 million shares done, after its subsidiary secured a RM2.1bil contract from Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd. Mtronic and Nicorp both gained half a sen to 10.5 sen and 15.5 sen respectively.
BAT gained RM2.58 to RM64.88, Genting climbed eight sen to RM9.98, Public Bank inched up two sen to RM16.16
Hong Leong Capital fell 55 sen to RM3.05 on profit taking after the recent rally as Bursa Securities queried it over the sharp rise in the share price. HLFG was flat at RM14.64.
US light crude oil was quoted 24 cents lower at US$91.32, while Brent stood at US$110.78.
Spot gold was US$1.84 lower at US$1,577.16, while the Ringgit was quoted at 3.1063 against the US dollar.
Crude palm oil for third-month futures gained RM8 to RM2,446.