Twenty-one minutes after the opening bell, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBMKLCI) slipped 5.27 points to 1,608.06 after opening at 1,609.29.
HwangDBS Vickers Research Sdn Bhd said major stock bellwethers on WallStreet fell between 0.8 per cent and 1.5 percent as investors were spooked by the meeting minutes that revealed some US Federal Reserve policymakers wanted an early end to the quantitative easing programme.
“This could put added downward pressure on local equities today. The benchmark index was down 17.6 points or 1.1 percent over the past four days, and may slip further towards the psychological mark of 1,600 points,” it said in a research note.
Meanwhile, Japan’s Nikkei 225 declined 35.04 points to 11,433.24 while Singapore’s Straits Times rose 13.12 points to 3,308.89 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 163.50 points to 23,307.41.
On the local front, the Finance Index dropped 57.85 points to 14,767.32, the Plantation Index lost 71.55 points to 7,844.76 while the Industrial Index added 4.1 points to 2,779.26.
The FBM Emas Index was 26.68 points lower at 10,938.08, the FBMT100 declined 27.46 points to 10,791.88, the FBM Ace Index eased 6.88 points to 3,990.72 while the FBM Mid 70 Index added 5.931 points to 11,917.78.
Losers led gainers 87 to 64, with 128 counters unchanged, 1,397 untraded and 17 others were suspended.
Trading was thin with 120.051 million shares, worth RM43.725 million, changing hands.
Actives, The Media Shoppe shed half-a-sen to eight sen while Patimas edged up one sen to 7.5 sen and IRM Group added 3.5 sen to 40 sen.
Maybank, which will release its latest quarterly earnings today, eased one sen to RM8.89.
Other heavyweights, Sime Darby and CIMB added two sen each to RM9.23 and RM7, respectively, while Axiata edged up one sen to RM6.22.