KUALA LUMPUR: The losses mounted on Bursa Malaysia over the morning session as investors cashed out of the market ahead of the tabling of Budget 2023.
Investors have turned jittery as the US non-farms jobs report is due out later tonight while a Federal Reserve official reiterated the central bank's commitment to more interest rate hikes.
At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was down 11.34 points to 1,409.09 amid a negative market that had 473 decliners compared with 217 gainers.
Trading volume was 1.21 billion shares valued at RM733.37mil.
Bank stocks were among the worst-hit counters with Maybank falling four sen to RM8.63, Hong Leong Bank dropping 16 sen to RM20.64 and Public Bank adding two sen to RM4.27.
IHH fell five sen to RM5.76, Digi slid five sen to RM3.46 and Axiata lost five sen to RM2.67.
Hartalega shed 10 sen to RM1.70 while Top Glove fell three sen to 64.5 sen.
Top actives included MMAG unchanged at 2.5 sen, Serba Dinamik falt at two sen and MYEG also flat at 90.5 sen.
Regionally, markets were on course for a third day of declines on signs of further aggressive monetary tightening.
Japan's Nikkei dropped 0.6% to 27,142, South Korea's Kospi was flat at 2,237 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 1.1% to 17,809.
Australia's ASX was down 0.6% to 6,775.
In China, the stock exchange remained closed for the Golden Week holiday.