KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's benchmark stock index made a steady descent into the red over the morning session as investors lost their nerve over the turmoil in global banks.
At 12.30pm, the FBM KLC was down 8.72 points to 1,402.26. There were 428 decliners compared with 287 gainers on the broader market.
Trading volume was 1.57 billion shares valued at RM863.55mil
Bank stocks were southbound after some uncertainty in the early morning session with Maybank dropping four sen to RM8.45, Public Bank falling five sen to RM3.90, CIMB shedding two sen to RM5.19 and Hong Leong Bank sliding six sen to RM19.96.
Other blue chips followed suit, including Tenaga Nasional falling five sen to RM9.51, PETRONAS Chemicals losing four sen to RM6.76 and CelcomDigi dropping six sen to RM4.27.
Some notable laggards over the morning session included Ayer slumping 37 sen to RM6.90, F&N shedding 30 sen to RM25.18 and United Plantatation dropping 18 sen to RM16.20.
Most active counters included Hong Seng down 0.5 sen to 13 sen, Top Glove unchanged at RM1.02 and CFM falling four sen to 31 sen.
In key Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei was down 0.35% to 27,322, South Korea's Kospi dropped 0.8% to 2,405 and China's composite index fell 0.5% to 3,268.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng slid 0.2% to 20,007 and Australia's ASX200 slipped 0.2% to 6,956.