KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian palm oil futures edged higher in first-half trade on Friday, tracking strength in soyoil on the Chicago Board of Trade.
Gains, however, were seen limited due to a stronger ringgit and weakness in related oils on China's Dalian Commodity Exchange.
The benchmark palm oil contract for March delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was up 0.2 percent at 2,110 ringgit ($507.94) a tonne at the midday break.
The contract, however, has declined 2.2 percent so far this week after two consecutive weekly gains.
Trading volumes stood at 12,302 lots of 25 tonnes each at the midday break on Friday. <1FCPO-TOT> "Palm is up tracking soyoil, but the stronger ringgit is limiting gains," said a Kuala Lumpur-based trader, adding that weakness in Dalian's soyoil and palm olein could also weigh on the market.
Gains in the ringgit, palm's traded currency, usually make the edible oil more expensive for foreign buyers. The ringgit had strengthened by 0.3 percent to 4.1540 per dollar by Friday noon, in its sharpest gain in over three weeks.
In other related oils, the Chicago January soybean oil contract was up 0.2 percent, while the January soybean oil contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange fell 1.1 percent.
Meanwhile, the Dalian January palm oil contract declined 0.3 percent.
Palm oil prices are impacted by changes in soyoil prices, as they compete for a share in the global vegetable oil market.