The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) figures are displayed at a dealing room of a local bank in Seoul, Tuesday. (Yonhap)
South Korean stocks retreated Tuesday amid lack of major market-moving events as investors still assess weak US job data and its impact on the Federal Reserve's timeline for tapering its stimulus. The Korean won fell against the US dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) decreased 15.91 points, or 0.5 percent, to close at 3,187.42 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 745 million shares worth some 11.7 trillion won ($10.1 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 447 to 393.
Foreigners sold a net 327 billion won, and institutions offloaded a net 121 billion won, while retail investors bought 452 billion won.
The Kospi traded bearish in the absence of major events related to the Fed's tapering.
Overnight, the US stock exchanges were closed for a holiday.
"The Kospi has been fluctuating around the 3,200-point mark since the (US August) jobs data was released, with investors keeping a close eye on the monetary policies in major economies," Shinhan Investment analyst Choi Yoo-joon said.
In Seoul, top cap Samsung Electronics lost 1.55 percent to 76,100 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix fell 1.42 percent to 104,500 won.
Internet portal operator Naver moved down 2.09 percent to 444,500 won, and pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics retreated 0.42 percent to 950,000 won.
Leading chemical firm LG Chem added 1.07 percent to 758,000 won, but top automaker Hyundai Motor declined 1.16 percent to 212,500 won. Top bank stock Kakao Bank plunged 5.68 percent to 73,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,157.8 won against the US dollar, down 1.3 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)