South Korean stocks closed lower Wednesday as foreigners offloaded stocks on profit-taking in the face of overnight losses on Wall Street. The won rose against the dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 10.06 points, or 0.47 percent, to close at 2,138.40. Trade volume was moderate at 337.71 million shares worth 4.71 trillion won ($4.1 billion), with decliners outnumbering advancers 412 to 376.
Foreign investors sold 238.11 billion won worth of shares, offsetting net purchases by institutions and individuals.
The index ended in positive territory in the past two sessions helped by eased investor worries following the United States' decision not to designate South Korea as a currency manipulator.
Tech, auto and steel stocks led losses, with market bellwether Samsung Electronics falling 1.45 percent to 2,045,000 won. Top carmaker Hyundai Motor declined 2.84 percent to 137,000 won, and No. 1 steelmaker POSCO was down 2.06 percent to 261,500 won.
Financial and defensive stocks were among gainers. KB Financial Group rose 0.50 percent to 50,100 won, and leading cosmetics maker AmorePacific jumped 3.68 percent to 296,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,140.20 won against the US dollar, up 2.20 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys fell 0.6 basis point to 1.670 percent, while the return on the benchmark five-year government bond declined 1.7 basis points at 1.850 percent. (Yonhap)