Seoul shares ended lower Monday as signs of trouble at the major European lender Deutsche Bank renewed concerns over the health of the global financial system. The local currency fell against the US dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index dropped 5.74 points, or 0.24 percent, to close at 2,409.22. Trading volume was moderate at 465.77 million shares worth 8.4 trillion won ($6.5 billion), with decliners outpacing gainers 555 to 313.
Investors remain concerned over the risk of a recession amid the banking crisis triggered by the collapse of the US-based Silicon Valley Bank.
In addition, Deutsche Bank's tumbling stocks are adding to traders' woes. The German lender's stocks plunged Friday as the cost to insure against a default in its debt spiked.
"Local stocks ended in negative territory as investors sought safe havens away from risky assets. They are now closely watching on what the US Federal Reserve will do with interest rates going forward following the recent turmoil in the banking sector," Kim Dae-wook, an analyst at Hana Securities Co., said.
Foreigners sold a net 104 billion won worth of stocks, offsetting institutions and individuals' stock purchases valued at 114 billion won.
In Seoul, most large-cap shares declined across the board.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. fell 1.4 percent to 62,100 won, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. declined 2.1 percent to 85,500 won, top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. dropped 0.9 percent to 176,100 won, and national flag carrier Korean Air Co. shed 1.1 percent to 22,550 won.
Among gainers, the state-run Korea Electric Power Corp. rose 2.5 percent to 18,380 won, leading car battery maker LG Energy Solution climbed 0.9 percent to 574,000 won, and leading refiner SK Innovation Co. jumped 4.5 percent to 166,800 won.
The local currency ended at 1,301.5 won against the US dollar, down 7.2 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)