KUALA LUMPUR: Investor attention gravitated to China, where protests over the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions sent global markets lower on fears over a recovery in the world's second largest economy.
Meanwhile, local investors continued to take profit following the stellar rally that followed the appointment of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to the Prime Minister's post.
Observers are keenly watching for the selection of the new premier's Cabinet, which could give some indication as to the working relationship between the component political parties of the ruling government, and the direction of policies moving forward.
Investor focus will also be on the last two days of the corporate earnings period, during which banks will announce their results for the recent quarter.
At 9.05am, the FBM KLCI was down 5.14 points to 1,481.4, as the market retreated further from the 1,500 psychological level that was temporarily breached last Thursday.
There were 145 gainers compared with 187 decliners. Trading volume was 254.1 million shares valued at RM170.5mil
Drinks counters, which had been bullish on the back of the start of the Fifa World Cup and coming festive period, retreated, including F&N down 36 sen to RM20.74, Carlsberg sliding 30 sen to RM22.30 and Heineken shedding six sen to RM24.56.
On the blue-chip index, PETRONAS Chemicals fell 20 sen to RM8.88, Press Metal dropped seven sen to RM4.79 and Public Bank dipped three sen to RM4.49.
Buoyant stocks however included Tenaga Nasional up 11 sen to RM8.89, PETRONAS Gas rising 26 sen to RM16.88 and CIMB gaining seven sen to RM5.87.
Top actives on the broader markets included MMAG flat at three sen, ASB unchanged at 20.5 sne and MQ Tech up 0.5 sen to 4.5 sen.