South Korean stocks finished lower Thursday, as investors opted to cash in recent gains amid a bullish run, market analysts said. The Korean won fell against the US dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index fell 9.85 points, or 0.40 percent, to close at 2,473.06.
Trade volume was moderate at 232 million shares worth 6.75 trillion won ($5.96 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 467 to 326.
The local stock market opened higher on overnight gains in Wall Street, but went south on profit-taking.
"Concerns over Fed rate hikes have eased to some degree, but investors are now attempting to lock in recent gains," said Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities.
Tech stocks suffered a slump, while some market heavyweights remained in positive terrain.
Samsung Electronics, the top market cap here, sank 3.25 percent to end at 2,649,000 won.
SK hynix, a major chipmaker, dropped 2.35 percent to 79,000 won as investors continued to lock in recent gains, and Naver, the operator of the country's top Internet portal shed 0.49 percent to end at 811,000 won.
In contrast, POSCO, the No. 1 steelmaker, rose 1.19 percent to end at 340,000 won and Hyundai Motor, the leading automaker, advanced 0.66 percent to 151,500 won.
Hyundai Mobis, the largest auto-parts maker, gained 3.75 percent to end at 249,000 won.
LG Electronics, the No. 1 tech firm, surged 6.75 percent to end at 96,500 won.
AmorePacific, the No. 1 cosmetics maker, rose 0.7 percent to end at 286,500 won.
The local currency closed at 1,132.40 won against the US dollar, down 2.5 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys rose 7.1 basis points to 2.006 percent and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond gained 7.1 basis points to 2.210 percent. (Yonhap)