KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia once again lost its early momentum to end the morning session in negative territory.
Overnight remarks by a US central banker that interest rate cuts could begin within months offered brief support to Asian equities, although the weak rally soon gave way to profit-taking.
At 12.30pm, the benchmark FBM KLCI was down 0.82 points to 1,447.2 amid a negative market of 496 decliners compared to 323 gainers.
There were 1.8 billion shares traded overall for a value of RM1.08bil.
Public Bank, whose results are forthcoming, picked up three sen to RM4.25 while Hong Leong Bank gained 10 sen to RM19.10 and CIMB shed four sen to RM5.64.
Maxis dropped five sen to RM3.92 and IOI fell three sen to RM3.96.
Meanwhile, leading actives included Fitters unchanged at five sen, Top Glove down three sen to 87 sen and Leform up 0.5 sen to 32 sen.
In Asian markets, China's composite index was down 0.3% to 3,030 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng dove 2% to 17,010 after Meituan warned of slowing demand for its food delivery services.
Japan's Nikkei was flat at 33,412 and South Korea's Kospi was down 0.l% to 2,519.