South Korean stocks traded 0.41 percent lower late Monday morning led by a drop in auto and financial large-caps, analysts said.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index retreated 8.93 points, or 0.41 percent, to 2,160.02 as of 11:20 a.m.
Top automaker Hyundai Motor slipped 1.2 percent, with its auto parts-making affiliate Hyundai Mobis dipping more than 2 percent.
KB Financial Group lost nearly 2.3 percent.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics also inched down 0.1 percent.
But shares of its rival chipmaker SK hynix gained more than 3 percent, with the country's No. 1 Internet portal operator Naver advancing 0.5 percent.
The local currency was changing hands at 1,113.80 won against the greenback as of 11:20 a.m., up 8.8 won from Friday's close. (Yonhap)