The benchmark Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (KLCI) slipped 2.75 points to close at 890.67. It opened 3.28 points higher at 896.7 this morning.
Among the losing counters was Maybank, which dropped 15 sen to RM5.10 ahead of its second-quarter financial results announcement later today.
Sime Darby also fell 10 sen to RM5.65, Genting lost eight sen to RM3.46, TM International declined four sen to RM3.02 and Telekom Malaysia eased six sen to RM3.44.
The dealers said losses on plantation counters over worries of global demand, further pressured the local bourse.
For the plantation-based stocks, IOI slipped eight sen to RM3.70, Kuala Lumpur Kepong dropped five sen to RM9.95 and Tradewinds Plantation fell seven sen to RM1.38.
The dealers said overall trading today was thin ahead of the weekend and the announcement of the 2008 fourth quarter gross domestic product (GDP) figures later in the evening.
Throughout the session, the KLCI moved between 888.91 and 897.53.
The Industrial Index eased 3.75 points to 2,108.35 and the Finance Index lost 0.43 of a point to 7,009.66 while the Plantation Index dropped 41.97 points to 4,374.04.
The FBMEmas declined 9.52 points to 5,847.07, the FBM30 decreased 12.31 points to 5,792.88 and the FBMMesdaq eased 10.32 points to 3,108.28. However, the FBM2BRD climbed 16.86 points to 3,980.36.
Losers outpaced gainers by 257 to 218 while 221 counters were unchanged, 553 untraded and 37 others suspended.
The turnover today was at 403.171 million shares worth RM585.977 million, upfrom yesterday's 332.422 million shares valued at RM599.722 million.
However, the dealers said losses on the local bourse were offset by mild interest in finance counters amid expectations that the banking industry would benefit from the pump priming stimulus package to be announced on March 10.
Finance-based stocks, Bumiputra-Commerce, climbed 20 sen to RM6.90, Public Bank gained 15 sen to RM8.80 and Hong Leong Financial Group was up six sen toRM4.58.
Volume on the Main Board increased to 358.232 million shares worth RM577.041 million from 283.029 million shares valued at RM589.744 million yesterday.
Turnover on the Second Board advanced to 22.047 million shares valued at RM5.999 million from 20.450 million shares worth RM6.020 million previously.
Volume on the Mesdaq Market though, was lower at 9.438 million shares worth RM1.716 million from the 9.827 million shares valued at RM2.136 million previously.
Warrants also declined to 12.652 million shares valued at RM962,391 compared with yesterday''s close of 18.017 million worth RM1.481 million.
For the actives, KNM Group lost three sen to 37 sen while construction-based stock WCT slipped six sen or 5.60 per cent to RM1.01 after reporting a net loss of RM33.1 million in the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2008 from the RM47.9 million profit for the same period of 2007.
The loss was due to the cancellation of a US$1.3 billion race course project in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
For the heavyweights, Tenaga Nasional and MISC gained five sen each to RM6.45 and RM8.55 respectively.
On a sectoral basis, consumer products accounted for 8.445 million shares traded on the Main Board, industrial products 133.546 million, construction 37.273 million, trade/services 101.953 million, technology 7.797 million, infrastructure 7.236 million, finance 18.704 million, hotels 3.898 million, properties 30.541 million, plantations 8.186 million, mining nil, REITs 589,500and closed/fund 59,000. -- BERNAMA