At 9.15am, the FBM KLCI was down 7.67 points to 1,583.95, further extending its fall below the 1,600 psychological level. The market breadth was negative with 345 decliners compared to 154 gainers.
"Given the mixed Wall Street performance, coupled with Evergrande's issues, we believe market sentiment will remain negative today," said Malacca Securities Research in a note.
It added that investors may focus on sectors related to the upcoming Budget 2022 while collecting laggard counters in the recovery theme sectors such as consumer and banking.
In early trade, banking counters extended their decline with Maybank dropping three sen to RM8.17, Public Bank slipping one sen to RM4.22, CIMB shedding eight sen to RM5.25 and Hong Leong Bank retreating six sen to RM18.84.
The price of crude oil declined in the previous session from recent highs but bounced back above U$85 a barrel in early Friday trading.
Petronas Chemicals remained firm, rising one sen to RM8.82 while Petronas Gas jumped 10 sen to RM16.76.
In plantations, Sime Darby Plantation dropped two sen to RM4.29, IOI Corp slid two sen to RM4.03 while Kuala Lumpur Kepong gained six sen to RM23.
On the broader market, top actives were Serba Dinamik falling 2.5 sen to 34.5 sen, VC rising one sen to nine sen and Tanco unchanged at 25.5 sen.