South Korean stocks ended slightly lower Tuesday as foreign investors and institutions offloaded large-cap stocks in an apparent move to lock in profits. The Korean won fell against the US dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index shed 9.29 points, or 0.39 percent, to 2,343.68.
Bae Sung-young, a market analyst at KB Securities Co., said institutions and foreign investors sold Samsung Electronics and other major technology stocks in an apparent profit-taking move.
This, he said caused the main bourse to lose ground.
Kim Ye-eun, an analyst at Cape Investment & Securities, also said investors offloaded large-cap stocks that weighed down the Kospi.
Foreign investors sold over 45 billion won ($40 million) worth of stocks in the trading session.
Most large-cap stocks were mixed across the board.
Top automaker Hyundai Motor gained 1.23 percent to 164,000 won, and the state-run utility firm Korea Electric Power Corp. was up 0.36 percent to 42,250 won.
Meanwhile, market bellwether Samsung Electronics fell 2.15 percent to 2,232,000 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. was down 0.86 percent to 57,400 won.
The local currency closed at 1,125.10 won against the US dollar, down 3.40 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys lost 1.4 basis points to 1.658 percent and the return on benchmark five-year government bonds shed 2.1 basis points to 1.869 percent.(Yonhap)