KUALA LUMPUR: Retail buying of Hartalega and Supermax helped shore up the FBM KLCI, but it remained below the key 1,600 level, as Petronas-linked stocks chipped at gains on the index.
At 9.45am, the KLCI was up 4.3 points or 0.27% to 1,599.10. Turnover was 1.47 billion shares valued at RM664.02mil. There were 358 gainers, 315 losers and 388 counters unchanged.
Hartalega rose 30 sen to RM12.10 and Supermax 15 sen to RM6.26.
Chip makers and tech-related stocks traded mixed after the pull-back on Thursday.
Unisem rebounded 59 sen to RM8.32, MPI 46 sen to RM30.32, Vitrox 30 sen to RM16.20, UWC 22 sen to RM11.98 and MI 17 sen to RM4.94.
However, KESM lost 18 sen to RM16.70, KPower 10 sen to RM2.44 and Amtel seven sen to RM3.50.
At Bursa on Thursday, foreign funds were net sellers at RM117.7mil and local funds at RM55.2mil but local retail investors were net buyers at RM173mil.
On the external front, Bloomberg reported stocks dipped from all-time highs as restrictions to curb escalating coronavirus infections dented some of the optimism around earnings and the prospect of additional stimulus.
Equities posted modest losses in Japan and Hong Kong but rose in South Korea. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures slipped after US shares eked out another record high Thursday as tech stocks advance.
The news wire also reported the dollar was headed for its worst week of the year on Friday, as investors cheered in the Joe Biden administration by buying riskier currencies and refreshed bets that a pandemic recovery could push the greenback lower still.
Against the euro, the dollar is down almost 0.8% this week and it touched a week-low of $1.2173 per euro on Friday.
The dollar index has fallen by the same weekly margin, and was steady at 90.075 early in the Asia session.