The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) figures are displayed at a dealing room of a local bank in Seoul, Monday. (Yonhap)
South Korean stocks retreated Monday as investors attempted to cash in gains from the key stock index's three-day advance. The Korean won fell against the US dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) lost 8.38 points, or 0.28 percent, to close at 3,006.68 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 912 million shares worth some 10.5 trillion won ($8.8 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 429 to 413.
Foreigners bought a net 38 billion won, while institutions sold 480 billion won. Retail investors purchased a net 417 billion won.
The Kospi got off to a lackluster start amid sell-offs in most sectors.
Tech and auto heavyweights pared some of their losses towards the session's end as the profit-taking move dwindled.
"The factors that have stoked volatility in the financial markets, such as commodities prices and concerns about the interest rate (hike), seem to be subsiding," Meritz Securities analyst Lee Jin-woo said.
"Foreigners' selling spree in chips decreased, and the dollar-won exchange rate seems to be stabilizing," he added.
In Seoul, Samsung Electronics edged up 0.14 percent to 70,200 won, internet portal operator Naver climbed 0.76 percent to 396,500 won, and the country's largest carmaker Hyundai Motor gained 0.48 percent to 209,500 won.
Among losers, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix retreated 1.32 percent to 97,100 won, leading chemical firm LG Chem moved down 1.08 percent to 827,000 won, and electric car battery maker Samsung SDI shed 0.98 percent to 705,000 won. Pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics declined 1.27 percent to 858,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,187.6 won against the US dollar, down 5.2 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)