KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI retraced most of it earlier gains to end nearly flat at midday.
At 12.30pm, the key index was 0.45 point higher at 1,437.97, after having risen to as high as 1,444.67 in the morning session.
The market breadth was negative with 370 decliners compared with 299 gainers.
Trading volume remained tepid with 1.17 billion shares exchanging hands for a value of RM561.97mil.
In financial services, Maybank was up two sen to RM8.62, Public Bank rose one sen to RM4.40, CIMB gained two sen to RM5.05 and Hong Leong Bank was unchanged at RM20.48.,
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Press Metal climbed five sen to RM4.67.
Plantation stocks succumbed to profit-taking after an earlier lead with Kuala Lumpur Kepong sliding 54 sen to RM21.74 and Sime Darby Plantation unchanged at RM4.28.
Among top actives, new market entrant Orgabio was up four sen to 35 sen, Reach was flat at five sen and Widad was unchanged at 36.5 sen.
In Asian markets, shares moved higher on positive economic data and hints that Sino-US tensions were easing.
Japan's Nikkei rose 0.7%, South Korea's Kospi gained 1.1%, while China's composite index slid 0.2%.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.6% and Australia's ASX200 gained 0.4%.