KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI fell over 15 points in the morning session with sharp losses in PETRONAS Chemicals and other heavyweight counters.
Corporate earnings remain in focus as investors look out for the release of bank earnings result on the penultimate day of the results period.
As at 12.30pm, the key index was down 15.38 points to 1,471.16. However, there remained some buying interest in the broader market with 501 gainers compared with 386 decliners.
Trading volume was 1.89 billion shares valued at RM1.12bil.
The biggest laggard of the early session was PETRONAS Chemicals, slumping 50 sen to RM8.58 and erasing nearly six points off the benchmark index, while Press Metal dropped 15 sen to RM4.71.
Public Bank dropped nine sen to RM4.43 while Digi slid 19 sen to RM3.79 and Maxis fell 15 sen to RM3.77.
Among the top actives, Advance Synergy rose 0.5 sen to 21 sen, MMAG was flat at three sen and MQ Tech gained one sen to five sen.
There was some upside sentiment in regional markets as Beijing announced support for property developers, which lent some relief to the ailing sector, although public unrest over the China's Covid lockdowns threatened to derail its economic prospects.
China's composite index jumped 2.2% to 3,146 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng leapt 3.85% to 17,964.
Japan's Nikkei dropped 0.5% to 28,025 while South Korea's Kospi gained 0.75% to 2,426.
In Australia, ASX200 rose 0.3% to 7,249.