KUALA LUMPUR: Profit-taking accelerated on the local market, dragging the FBM KLCI lower for the third consecutive day amid fading hopes for a trade deal at the G20 summit in Japan.
As the June 28-29 meeting of G20 nations approached, the inaction of Washington and China in organising preliminary trade meetings suggested a framework would not be reached in time for discussion.
In China, markets made a late-morning recovery, suggesting that profit-taking activity was tapering off after Tuesday's strong advance on government stimulus measures.
The Shanghai Composite Index was up 0.1% while the CSI300 Index was little changed from the previous session close.
Hong Kong's equity market however continued to tumble following violent confrontations in the city on Wednesday as protestors attempted to force lawmakers to withdraw an extradition bill.
The benchmark Hang Seng Index fell 0.9% by midday.
At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was 8.84 points lower at 1,641.90. Trading volume was 1.08 billion shares valued at RM809.9mil. There were 377 decliners compared to 286 gainers and 321 counters unchanged.
The highlight of the morning was Greatech Technology, which made its debut on the ACE Market of Bursa Malaysia today.
The top-active stock closed off the session with a 14 sen or 22.95% increase over its offer price of 61 sen to 75 sen.
Lafarge Malaysia was also in the news after Aminvestment Bank advised minority shareholders to rehect YTL Group's takeover bid of RM7.35 a share, which it deemed "not reasonable".
Shares in the cement maker rocketed 43 sen to RM4.21.
Among the heavyweights, Tenaga Nasional faced selling pressure, shedding 24 sen to RM12.30; PPB fell 14 sen to RM18.56 and Genting slid 14 sen to RM6.48.
Oil prices rebounded from an early-morning slide as a concerns over global demand growth sapped investor confidence.
US crude rose 14 cents to US$51.20 a barrel and Brent crude added 33 cents to US$60.30 a barrel.
In currencies, the ringgit was 0.1% lower against the US dollar to 4.1610. It rose 0.1% against the Singapore dollar at 3.04667 and 0.4% against the pound serling at 5.2804.