Share prices closed higher today, aided by strong buying interest in line with gains in most regional markets, dealers said.
Gains were mostly seen in British American Tobacco and UMW which pushed the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) to settle 13.49 points higher at 1,637.64.
The benchmark index, which opened at 1,625.37, hovered between 1,624.79 and 1,637.63 throughout the day, amid market's cautiousness about the general election.
"One moment it goes up, the next it goes down, although many investors stayed on the sidelines," said Mercury Securities Head of Research Edmund Tham.
He told Bernama stocks were supported by the European Central Bank's announcement that it would not tighten monetary policy any time soon as it was concerned over investors in the euro zone.
The announcement came after US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank's own huge monetary easing would stay in place.
Meanwhile, China's Shanghai Composite rose 52.37 points to 2,365.59 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index gained 443.26 points to 23,020.27 following overnight rise on Wall Street.
US stock indices finished in positive territory as sentiment was boosted by better housing statistics and the successful bond sales by Italy, dealers said.
Back home, the Plantation Index rose 25.13 points to 7,872.62 and the Industrial Index rose 21.48 points to 2,809.89.
The FBM Emas Index rose 87.01 points to 11,139.04, FBMT100 advanced 89.189 points to 10,995.35 and the FBM Mid 70 Index surged 92.101 points to 12,165.9.
The Finance Index perked 134.89 points to 15,176.09 but the FBM Ace Index was 3.54 points lower at 3,955.91.
Total volume rose to 1.01 billion shares worth RM1.98 billion from 895.99 million shares worth RM1.55 billion yesterday.
Advancers led decliners by 394 to 281, with 301 counters unchanged, 699 untraded and 60 suspended.
Among top gainers, British American Tobacco rose RM2.76 to RM61.00, Dutch Lady Milk Industries added RM1.60 to RM46.00 and UMW Holdings increased 50 sen to RM12.80.
Of the actives, Patimas Computers and Compugates Holdings gained half sen each to 4.5 sen and nine sen, respectively, while Luster Industries added one sen to 11.5 sen.
Heavyweights, Maybank rose two sen to RM9.15, Sime Darby added four sen to RM9.21 and Axiata went up six sen to RM6.40.
Volume on the Main Market increased to 824.99 million shares worth RM1.96 billion from 696.79 million shares valued at RM1.53 billion yesterday.
Turnover on the ACE market rose to 162.36 million shares valued at RM14.74 million from 157.57 million units worth RM14.93 million Wednesday.
Warrants fell to 21.34 million units worth RM1.53 million from 40.36 million shares valued at RM1.62 million yesterday.
Consumer products accounted for 27.48 million shares on the Main Market, industrial products 144 million, construction 33 million, trade and services 315.13 million, technology 70 million, infrastructure 24.7 million, finance 64.2 million, hotels 976,300, properties 102.14 million, plantations 11.04 million, mining 171,000, REITs 12.9 million and closed/fund 19,100.-- Bernama