South Korean stocks ended slightly lower Monday on increased selling by institutions. The Korean won fell against the US dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index shed 2.33 points, or 0.10 percent, to 2,352.97.
Bae Sung-young, a market analyst at KB Securities Co., said institutions offloaded stocks in apparent profit-taking, which is to blame for losses on the main bourse.
Kim Ye-eun, an analyst at Cape Investment & Securities, also said Samsung Electronics and other major large-cap stocks turned lower, which weighed on the main index.
Institutions sold over 99 billion won ($88 million) worth of stocks on profit-taking.
Most large-cap stocks were mixed across the board.
No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. gained 1.40 percent to 57,900 won, and Naver, the top Internet portal operator, rose 0.12 percent to 856,000 won.
Meanwhile, market bellwether Samsung Electronics fell 1 percent to 2,281,000 won, and the state-run utility firm Korea Electric Power Corp. was down 0.82 percent to 42,100 won.
The local currency closed at 1,121.70 won against the US dollar, down 1.00 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, were mixed. The yield on three-year Treasurys fell 0.5 basis point to 1.672 percent and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond gained 0.1 basis point to 1.890 percent. (Yonhap)