KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia was in the red at the start of Tuesday trade, in line with the cautious key Asian markets, while weighing down the FBM KLCI were Hong Leong Bank and Tenaga Nasional.
At 9.09am, the KLCI was down 1.66 points or 0.1% to 1,635.74. Turnover was 103.76 million shares valued at RM40.38mil. There were 111 gainers, 123 losers and 196 counters unchanged.
Shares in Asia fell despite another record high close for the S&P 500, as investors await a US Federal Reserve policy decision for clues of whether it will continue to take a "patient" approach to interest rate policy, Reuters reported.
Traders were also cautious ahead of readings on China's factory activity (0100 GMT), hoping for more signs that the world's second-largest economy is starting to stabilise in response to a flurry of stimulus measures.
MSCI's broadest gauge of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was off 0.1%, weighed by weakness in Korean shares, which fell 0.4%.
Australian equities fell 0.3%, while New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.3%.
At Bursa, Nestle fell the most, down 70 sen to RM146.30, Hong Leong Bank fell 24 sen to RM19.84, IHH six sen to RM5.54 and Petronas Gas six sen to RM17.54.
Plantations were weighed down by a report that Malaysia's palm oil output is forecast to rise to 20 million tonnes in 2019, up from as much as 19.5 million tonnes forecast earlier.
KL Kepong and PPB Group fell 14 sen each to RM24.64 and RM18.66 while Sime Plantation lost seven sen to RM5.08.
Carlsberg was the top gainer, up 20 sen to RM24.70, MISC added 18 sen to RM6.98 and Amway 15 sen to RM6.15.
F&N added 14 sen to RM34.86, Hap Seng nine sen to RM9.89 while SAM Engineering and Harn Len added eight sen each to RM8.28 and 76 sen.