South Korea's main stock market fell in late morning Thursday as investors were rattled by U.S. Fed's meeting results.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) stood at 1922.20 as of 11:20 a.m., down 15.48 points or 0.80 percent from the close of trading on Wednesday.
Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen said at a press conference after her first monetary policy meeting that the Fed could start raising interest rates about six months after its current expansive monetary policy comes to an end. She added the ongoing asset purchase program will be scaled back to US$55 billion a month in April from $65 billion in March.
Market watchers said while South Korean companies are not likely to be affected by the scaling back of the quantitative easing, the interest rate hike comment caused jitters that caused both institutions and foreign investors to become net sellers.
Tech behemoth Samsung Electronics backtracked 0.39 percent, with Hyundai Motor, the country's No. 1 carmaker, also surrendering 1.08 percent.
SK Telecom stayed flat, with Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world's largest shipbuilder, giving up 1.47 percent.
Stock prices of Kia Motors, South Korea's second-largest carmaker, stood unchanged with SK hynix, a global leader in memory chip producer, advancing 0.27 percent.
The South Korean currency was trading at 1,074.60 won to the U.S. dollar, down 4.00 won from the previous trading session.