South Korean stocks traded nearly flat throughout the session to close slightly lower Monday as major blue chips traded in mixed terrain, analysts said. The Korean won rose against the US dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index fell 3.1 points, or 0.13 percent, to 2,368.62. Trade volume was moderate at 322 million shares worth 5.1 trillion won ($4.56 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 469 to 358.
Despite the overall sluggish trade, the KOSPI reached 2,376.83 at one point, setting a new record in terms of during-session figures.
Analysts said South Korean shares closed nearly flat as major blue chip shares traded in mixed terrain, while investors also took a breather.
"Samsung Electronics and SK hynix helped the index reach the 2,370 level, but the shares have not set new records. We need to take a closer look if such shares break a new record," said Lee Kyung-min, a researcher at Daishin Securities.
Foreigners bought a net 273.9 billion won, while institutions sold a net 336.9 billion won. Retail investors bought a net 21.6 billion won.
Tech shares traded mixed, with Samsung Electronics falling 0.04 percent to 2,297,000 won, while LG Electronics climbed 0.81 percent to 87,300 won. Top chipmaker SK hynix decreased 1.75 percent.
Top carmaker Hyundai Motor shed 0.92 percent to 161,500 won, while its auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis advanced 1.85 percent to 275,500 won. Kia Motors decreased 1.15 percent to 38,750 won.
Chemical shares closed bearish, with LG Chem falling 0.85 percent to 291,500 won and Amore Pacific losing 0.29 percent to 339,500 won. S-Oil also lost 2.36 percent to 99,100 won.
The local currency closed at 1,118.30 won against the greenback, up 3.5 won from the previous session.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys lost 0.7 basis point to 1.623 percent and the return on benchmark five-year government bonds shed 2.0 basis points to 1.831 percent. (Yonhap)