KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's benchmark FBM KLCI extended its losses at it headed into the lunch break amid worsening investor sentiment as fears continues over global inflation and a potential US government shutdown at the end of the month.
At 12.30pm, the key index was down 11.2 points to 1,428.91. Decliners on the overall market outnumbered gainers 541 to 252.
Trading volume was 1.7 billion shares valued at RM1.06bil.
In regional markets, equities prices have dropped to their lowest in 10 months as earlier optimism that inflation rates have been reined was doused by surging oil prices and stubbornly strong consumer price data in the US.
In Japan, the Nikkei was down 0.1% to 31,841 while South Korea's Kospi rose 0.1% to 2,465.
China's mainland market was closed, marking the start of the Golden Week holiday, but Hong Kong's Hang Seng surged 2.7% to 17,843 as it bounced higher from the week's losses.
Among individual sectors on Burs Malaysia, banks were the worst hit. Maybank dropped six sen to RM8.82, Publi Bank shed four sen to RM4.10, CIMB fell 13 sne ot RM5.42, Hong Leong Bank shaved 24 sen to RM19.54 and RHB lost six sen to RM5.44.
There were also losses seen in IHH, losing six sen to RM5.90, PETRONAS Gas sliding 28 sen to RM16.86 and CelcomDigi falling four sen to RM4.39.
Gainers on the broader market included those in the tech sector such as MI
Top actives in the morning session were EMCC up five sen to 40 sen, Sapura Energy unchanged at 5.5 sen and VSolar down three sen to 15 sen.