KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI fell nearly 10 points in morning trade as investors took the sidelines ahead of the central bank's monetary policy committee meeting later this week.
At 12.30pm, the key index was down 9.65 points to 1,440.09. The overall market was also negative with 594 decliners compared with 196 gainers.
Amid the bearish mood, trading volume on the market was low with 1.03 billion shares traded for a value of RM501.52mil.
On the blue-chip index, equities were mostly lower.
Financial services stocks slumped with Maybank falling four sne to RM8.58, Public Bank losing three sen to RM4.39 and CIMB shedding two sen to RM5.01. Hong Leong Bank was an outlier, rising eight sen to RM20.44.
Telcos were also down with Axiata dropping seven sen to RM2.76, Digi sliding three sen to RM3.61 and Maxis shedding one sen to RM3.30.
The decline was was also felt in the oil and gas sector as fears over an impending recession cast fears over demand risk.
Petron Malaysia fell 18 sen to RM5.35 and Hengyuan Refining slid 15 sen to RM4.50.
Of actives, Reach was unchanged at 5.5 sen, Top Glove down two sen to 99 sen and Jade Marvel unchanged at 91 sen.
Meanwhile, Japan's Nikkei rose 0.5%, South Korea's Kospi rose 0.2% and China's composite index gained 0.1%.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng slipped 0.6% while Australia's ASX200 rose 1.1%.