South Korean stocks ended slightly lower Wednesday as foreign investors and institutions offloaded local stocks. The Korean won fell against the US dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index shed 0.25 points, or 0.01 percent, to 2,160.85.
The broad index bucked overnight gains on Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.19 percent, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index climbing 0.07 percent.
Institutions remained net sellers of local stocks, selling more than 167 billion won ($148 million), and foreigners sold a net 7.5 billion won worth of stocks.
Bae Sung-young, a market analyst at KB Securities Co., said foreigners continued to sell South Korean stocks, and there is no momentum that could push up the main index.
Most large-cap stocks were mixed across the board.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 0.14 percent to 2,107,000 won, and the state-run utility firm Korea Electric Power Corp. was up 0.88 percent to 46,100 won.
Meanwhile, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. fell 1.37 percent to 50,300 won, and top automaker Hyundai Motor was down 1.32 percent to 150,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,124.40 won against the US dollar, down 2.50 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys rose 0.8 basis points to 1.654 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds gained 1.6 basis points to 1.824 percent. (Yonhap)