KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia retraced its steps following a jump in early morning trade and ended in negative territory at midday.
The stock exchange reacted to positive news over rising oil prices and tracked gains on Wall Street as it opened for business following a four-day weekend.
However, it soon lost momentum and joined other Asian markets in the red as the threats of yet further US trade tariffs on Chinese imports rattled investors.
Over the course of the morning session, the index traded in a range of 37.65 points.
At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was down 9.86 points to 1,789.31. There were 1.26 billion shares valued at RM1.32bil. Market breadth was overwhelmingly negative with 798 decliners versus 144 gainers and 244 counters unchanged.
Leading the index lower, IHH Healthcare shaved 16 sen to RM5.35 while heavyweight Maybank dropped nine sen to RM9.80, Sime Darby Plantation slid 12 sen to RM5.18 and Genting cut 17 sen to RM8.03.
Petronas Gas was the top gainer on the 30-stock index, rising 44 sen to RM19, while Petronas Chemicals gained three sen to RM9.46.
On the broader market, Aeon Credit
slid 46 sen to RM15.24, Top Glove fell 40 sen to RM10.44 and Hengyuan slidded 26 sen to RM16.26.
Serba Dinamik gained seven sen to RM3.86, Batu Kawan rose six sen to RM16.90 and IJM Plantation grew six sen to RM2.47.
Oil prices rose on Wednesday following a report of declines in US crude inventories and as looming sanctions against Iran raised expectations of tightening supply, while top producer Russia warned of a fragile global crude market, Reuters reported.
WTI crude rose 58 cents to US$69.03 a barrel while Brent crude gained 26 cents to US$79.32 a barrel.
In currencies, the ringgit was little changed against the US dollar at 4.1482. It was also unmoved against the Singapore dollar at 3.0119 but strengthened 0.2% against the pound sterling at 5.3957.