KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI was down over 21 points at midday as an unexpected increase in US inflation figures battered investor sentiment.
Equities prices sank regionally as an 8.6% jump in the US's consumer price index in May raised worries the US Federal Reserve will implement even more aggressive tightening measures, putting more pressure on the global economy.
At 12.30pm, the key index was down 21.69 points to 1,472.26, an 18-month low.
Twenty eight of the 30 constituent stocks on the FBM KLCI were in the red. On the broader market, there were 960 decliners compared with just 112 gainers.
Trading volume was 1.93 billion shares valued at RM1.04bil
On the financial services sector, Maybank dropped eight sen to RM8.67, Public Bank slipped seven sen to RM4.46, CIMB dropped six sen to RM4.98 and Hong Leong Bank shed 20 sen to RM20.60.
Press Metal fell 13 sen to RM4.86, Petronas Chemicals slid nine sen to RM9.61 and IHH dropped 20 sen to RM6.25.
In plantations, Kuala Lumpur Kepong dipped 44 sen to RM24.54, Sime Darby Plantation lost six sen to RM4.58 while IOI eked one sen higher to RM4.10.
Technology counters were also slammed with MPI falling RM1.66 to RM30.28 and Vitrox sliding 37 sen to RM7.26.
Top actives were Fintec down 0.5 sen to one sen, BCM Alliance flat at 2.5 sen and Sapura Energy sliding 0.5 sen to 4.5 sen.
Meanwhile, it was also a bloodbath in major Asian markets. Japan's Nikkei dove 2.75%, South Korea's slumped 3.2% and China's composite index dropped 1.1%.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 2.8% while Australia's ASX200 slid 1.25%.