South Korean stocks ended lower on Wednesday as foreigners turned net sellers tracking losses on Wall Street. The Korean won fell against the US dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index fell 11.70 points, or 0.49 percent, to close at 2,357.53. Trade volume was moderate at 356.21 million shares worth 6.34 trillion won ($5.5 billion), with decliners outnumbering advancers 516 to 296.
Foreigners sold a net 180.29 billion won worth of stocks and institutional investors also dumped shares valued at 189.12 billion won. Individuals bought 295 billion won stocks, keeping the main index from falling further.
Large-cap stocks were mixed across the board. Market bellwether Samsung Electronics fell 1.37 percent to 2,374,000 won. But No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix rose 1.25 percent to 64,800 won.
Top carmaker Hyundai Motor shed 3.60 percent to 160,500 won and leading auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis declined 0.97 percent to 254,500 won.
Defensive stocks ended in positive territory, with state-run electricity provider Korea Electric Power Corp. up 1.33 percent to 41,750 won and cosmetics giant AmorePacific up 1.50 percent to 305,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,144.00 won against the US dollar, down 8.60 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys rose 0.7 basis point to 1.692 percent and the return on benchmark five-year government bonds climbed 0.4 basis point to 1.854 percent. (Yonhap)