The benchmark KOSPI lost 4.69 points, or 0.23 percent, to close at 2,019.42. Trade volume was slim at 263.66 million shares worth 3.87 trillion won (US$3.38 billion), with losers far outnumbering gainers 558 to 250.
Analysts said investors took to the sidelines ahead of monetary policy meetings in the United States and Japan, while an overnight fall on Wall Street on concerns over surging bond yields weighed down on investor sentiment.
Offshore investors and institutions dumped a net 343.22 billion won and 297.6 billion won, respectively. Retail investors bought a net 57.81 billion won on bargain hunting.
Samsung Electronics rose 2.61 percent to 1,614,000 won after its shareholders on Oct. 27 approved the nomination of Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong to the electronics giant’s board of directors. Its third-quarter earnings dropped 30 percent on-year due to fallout from the Galaxy Note 7 smartphones.
KT, No. 2 mobile carrier, was steady at 32,250 won as its operating profit in the first nine months of this year surpassed 1.2 trillion won thanks to a solid rise in revenue from wireless Internet services.
SK Innovation, the nation’s largest refiner, advanced 0.32 percent to 155,500 won after its third-quarter operating profit rose 12 percent from a year earlier, led by the sound petrochemical business.
Hyundai Mobis, an auto parts maker affiliated with Hyundai Motor, gained 2.12 percent to 264,500 won on the back of the upbeat quarterly earnings.
The local currency closed at 1,144.90 won against the greenback, down 2.40 won from the previous close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, declined. The yield on three-year Treasurys rose 2.0 basis points to 1.438 percent and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond increased 4.2 basis points to 1.521 percent.