The performance was in line with regional peers, as Asian markets took a cue from the weaker overnight performance on Wall Street amid renewed concerns over the spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant, dealers said.
At 5 pm, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) fell 13.94 points to 1,480.92 from 1,494.86 at Monday’s close.
The index, which opened 1.97 points easier at 1,492.89 -- its highest level of the day -- and fell as low as 1,479.92 in today's trading.
On the broader market, losers thumped gainers 609 to 279, while 404 counters were unchanged, 1,012 untraded and 20 others suspended.
Turnover increased to 2.68 billion units valued at RM1.78 billion from Monday’s 2.63 billion units valued at RM1.85 billion.
Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd vice-president of equity research Thong Pak Leng said the local bourse opened lower on profit taking after yesterday’s rebound and trended lower due to heavy selling pressure.
"Key regional bourses were also in the red as investors were staying cautious amid concerns over the Omicron variant while looking ahead to the Federal Reserve's monetary policy on Wednesday.
"We reckon regional volatility will play a huge part on the performance of the local market,” he told Bernama.
He noted that the FBM KLCI was not expected to see any major movement for the rest of the week, hovering in the 1,480 to 1,500 range given the heightened volatility.
From a technical point of view, the immediate support was at 1,475 and resistance at 1,500, he added.
Regionally, Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.73 per cent to 28,432.64, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index decreased 1.33 per cent to 23,635.95, and South Korea’s Kospi shed 0.46 per cent to 2,987.95, but Singapore’s Straits Times Index improved 0.08 per cent to 3,122.59.
Among the heavyweights, Maybank fell nine sen to RM8.09, IHH Healthcare shed six sen to RM6.50, CIMB slipped 10 sen to RM5.14, and Tenaga eased five sen to RM9.23.
Petronas Chemicals added six sen to RM8.61 while Public Bank was flat at RM4.00.
Of the actives, AT Systematization eased half-a-sen to four sen, Permaju Industries trimmed one sen to four sen, Dataprep improved one sen to RM1.05, Kanger International edged up half-a-sen to 2.5 sen, and BCM Alliance was flat at 2.5 sen.
On the index board, the FBM Emas Index was 96.10 points lower at 10,793.19, the FBMT 100 Index fell 97.79 points to 10,486.85, and the FBM Emas Shariah Index decreased 109.29 points to 11,616.03.
The FBM 70 dropped 125.72 points to 13,874.20 and the FBM ACE erased 45.58 points to 6,185.50.
Sector-wise, the Industrial Products and Services Index eased 1.37 points to 193.33, the Financial Services Index tumbled 142.89 points to 15,078.64, and the Plantation Index contracted 98.59 points to 6,430.50.
The Main Market volume widened to 1.67 billion shares valued at RM1.59 billion versus Monday’s 1.65 billion shares valued at RM1.62 billion.
Warrants turnover shrank to 219.22 million units worth RM32.98 million against 270.54 million units worth RM46.49 million.
The ACE Market volume grew to 777.32 million shares valued at RM157.04 million from 705.40 million shares valued at RM182.02 million previously.
Consumer products and services counters accounted for 503.01 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (468.14 million), construction (55.25 million), technology (185.93 million), SPAC (nil), financial services (61.23 million), property (68.97 million), plantation (12.23 million), REITs (10.96 million), closed/fund (561,700), energy (124.77 million), healthcare (110.14 million), telecommunications and media (24.74 million), transportation and logistics (24.81 million), and utilities (19.23 million). - Bernama