South Korean stocks traded lower late Tuesday morning as foreign investors and institutions offloaded large-cap stocks in apparent move to lock in profits.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index lost 16.85 points, or 0.72 percent, to 2,336.12 as of 11:15 a.m.
Kim Ye-eun, an analyst at Cape Investment & Securities, said foreign investors and institutions sold large-cap stocks in apparent profit-taking, which are to blame for losses on the main bourse.
Bae Sung-young, a market analyst at KB Securities Co., said the index moved in a tight range due to a lack of upside momentum.
Large-cap stocks were mixed across the board.
Top automaker Hyundai Motor gained 0.62 percent, and Lotte Shopping, the retail unit of Lotte Group, was up 3.05 percent.
Meanwhile, market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. lost 2.37 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. was down 1.90 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,123.75 won against the US dollar, down 2.05 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)