At 12.30pm, the index was down 12.54 points to 1,588.60. The decline saw the index falling to its lowest since the start of November, and at risk of crossing below the 50-day simple moving average,
Trading volume for the early session was 1.55 billion shares valued at RM939.41mil. There were 471 decliners versus 274 gainers and 343 counters unchanged.
The pullback in local equities was led by Public Bank, losing 40 sen to RM19.52, and Tenaga Nasional, sliding 14 sen to RM13.52.
Other heavyweights dragging on the market included Petronas Chemicals shedding four sen to RM7.17, Petronas Gas falling 24 sen to RM16.22, CIMB dropping three sen to RM5.35 and Maxis slipping four sen to RM5.28.
Rare gainers in the morning were KL Kepong up eight sen to RM23.68 and IHH advancing one sen to RM5.45.
Top actively traded counters were Alam Maritim up 1.5 sen to 14.5 sen, KNM down 0.5 sen to 40.5 sen and Seacera falling 8.5 sen to 40.5 sen.
Oil prices partially erased some gains seen in the previous session amid the bearish sentiment. US crude fell 17 cents to US$56.83 a barrel and Brent crude droped 20 cents to US$62.20 a barrel.
In currencies, the ringgit was down 0.2% against the greenback at 4.1720, 0.2% against the pound sterling at 5.3931 and 0.2% against the Singapore dollar at 3.0616.
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