South Korean stocks ended lower Wednesday as foreign investors offloaded local stocks amid tensions between North Korea and the United States. The Korean won fell against the US dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index fell 1.75 points, or 0.07 percent, to 2,372.57.
"Foreign investors sold large-cap tech stocks in the face of persistent North Korean risks," said Kim Ye-eun, an analyst at Cape Investment & Securities.
US President Donald Trump said Tuesday he is "totally prepared" to use military options against North Korea. His latest warning came in response to North Korea's threat a day earlier to shoot down approaching American bombers, even in international air space.
Park Chun-young, an analyst at Daishin Securities, said foreign investors offloaded stocks in apparent profit-taking. She also said investors took a wait-and-see approach as South Korea's stock markets will be closed from Oct. 2-9 as people celebrate the Chuseok holiday -- the equivalent of Thanksgiving in the US.
Large-cap stocks were mixed across the board.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. gained 0.04 percent to 2,584,000 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. was up 0.37 percent to 82,400 won.
Meanwhile, top steelmaker POSCO was down 1.27 percent to 311,500 won, and Naver, the operator of the country's top Internet portal, lost 2.52 percent to 734,000 won.
The local currency was trading at 1,140.70 won against the US dollar, down 3.90 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys gained 5.5 basis points to 1.887 percent and the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds rose 6.7 basis points to 2,087 percent. (Yonhap)