South Korean stocks finished lower on Friday as foreign investors went on a heavy selling spree amid uncertainties over a possible delay of US tax reform. The Korean won fell against the US dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index dropped 7.62 points, or 0.3 percent, to close at 2,542.95. Trade volume was moderate at 288 million shares worth 5.4 trillion won ($4.8 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 409 to 385.
The main bourse opened lower, taking a cue from overnight losses on Wall Street, as investors remained uncertain over the North American country's tax revamp effort.
"Concerns over poor performance of US shares in case of a delay in adopting the corporate tax cuts is a drag on the local market," said Seo Sang-young, a researcher from Kiwoom Securities Co.
Foreign investors sold a net 191 billion won worth of local stock, while retail and institutional investors scooped up a net 131 billion won and 20 billion won, respectively, keeping the index from falling further.
Most large caps ended in negative terrain, but market kingpin Samsung Electronics edged up 0.11 percent to 2,820,000 won.
SK hynix, a major chipmaker, surrendered 0.49 percent to 82,000 won.
Chemical shares were among the losers, with industry leader LG Chem plunging 1.81 percent to 406,500 won. AmorePacific, the country's No. 1 cosmetics firm, declined 1.08 percent to 320,500 won.
Auto shares also ended bearish, with top carmaker Hyundai Motor edging down 0.64 percent to end at 154,500 won. Its smaller affiliate Kia Motors retreated 0.71 percent to 34,750 won.
Top steelmaker POSCO, meanwhile, gained 1.25 percent to 323,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,117.10 won against the US dollar, down 1.5 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, experienced a mixed day of trading. The yield on three-year Treasurys rose 1 basis point to 2.157 percent, and the return on benchmark five-year government bonds remained unchanged at 2.350 percent. (Yonhap)