At close, the underlying FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) slipped 3.6 points or 0.22% to 1,632.57.
The benchmark index, which opened at 1,638.05, hovered between 1,629.18 and 1,639.71 throughout the day.
Industrial, consumer and technology were the only sectors that recorded gains during the morning session, while the palm oil plantation sector, the biggest loser, fell 0.32%.
Dealers said the sell-off came on investor concern over the ongoing eurozone debt crisis resurfacing amid indications that Spain might require a full bailout.
The selling spree remained mild compared with regional markets due to FBM KLCI’s defensive traits and local funds’ support ahead of the IHH Healthcare Bhd listing tomorrow, Hong Leong Investment Bank Research said.
Meanwhile, HwangDBS Vickers Research Sdn Bhd said the market moved in line with the weak Wall Street performance overnight, which fell between 0.8% and 1.2%.
“Sentiment could also be hit by a wobbly external backdrop amid rising fears that the eurozone debt crisis would deepen,” the research house said.
The Finance Index declined 12.561 points to 14,657.88, the Plantation Index fell 20.09 points to 8,779.97 and the Industrial Index was 3.02 points higher at 2,870.32.
The FBM Emas Index went down 17.54 points to 11,175.64, the FBMT100 decreased 18.45 points to 10,995.14 and the FBM Ace Index was 5.68 points higher at 4,285.48.
Decliners led advancers by 413 to 294 while 351 counters closed unchanged, 535 untraded and 14 others suspended.
Total volume fell to 845.75 million shares valued at RM1.51 billion from 915.89 million shares worth RM1.22 billion yesterday.
Among actives, Cybertowers gained 5.5 sen to 37.5 sen, Metronic was flat at 9.5 sen and Tanjung Offshore rose 17.5 sen to 96.5 sen.
As for heavyweights, Maybank was unchanged at RM8.75, Sime Darby fell one sen to RM9.93 and CIMB gained one sen to RM7.85.
Top gainers, British American Tobacco added RM2.58 to RM61.00, DKLS increased 23 sen to RM1.32 and F&N rose 22 sen to RM18.50.
Among top losers, Nestle fell 88 sen to RM59.02, Tasek Corp declined 38 sen to RM9.50 and PPB slipped 30 sen to RM15.20.
The Main Market volume decreased to 594.22 million units valued at RM1.46 billion from 683.23 million units worth RM1.18 billion yesterday.
Turnover on the ACE Market declined to 170.07 million shares worth RM43.23 million from 145.49 million shares valued at RM25.85 million yesterday.
Warrants fell to 75.76 million units valued at RM43.23 million from 79.27 million units worth RM9.34 million previously.
Consumer products accounted for 40.42 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products 99.57 million, construction 29.3 million, trade and services 237.94 million, technology 31.05 million, infrastructure 15.53 million, finance 56.0 million, hotels 777,600, properties 54.0 million, plantations 25.21 million, mining 21,800, REITs 4.34 million and closed/fund 92,000.