KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI was slightly softer in the morning session despite a rally in regional markets on the back of China's move to reduce borrowing costs for companies.
At 12.30pm, the local index was down 1.6 points to 1,597.62. Trading volume was 1.23 billion shares valued at RM626.56mil.
Market breadth was evenly spaced with 338 gainers to 315 decliners and 333 counters unchanged.
Axiata tumbled 13 sen in the early session to RM4.89 as StarBizweek reported over the weekend that the proposed merger with Norway's Telenor may be facing some hurdles.
Digi was also down six sen to RM4.96.
Gaining stocks included Hong Leng Bank up 12 sen to RM17.24, Petronas Chemicals adding 11 sen to RM7.26 and Petronas Gas rising 10 sen to RM16.10.
Over the region, China's market rallied with the Shanghai Composite Index up 1.5%.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 1.9% by midday while Japan's Nikkei advanced 0.7% and South Korea's Kospi added 0.5%.
Meanwhile oil prices climbed following reports of a Yemeni separatist attack on a Saudi oil facility although prices remained capped by concerns over oil demand.
US crude gained 0 cents to US$55.37 a barrel and Brent crude jumped 65 cents to US$59.29 a barrel.
In currencies, the ringgit was up 0.25% agaisnt the greenback to 4.1660, 0.2% against the pound sterling at 5.0642 and 0.2% against the the Singapore dollar at 3.0084.