South Korean stocks pared back earlier gains Tuesday morning to trade slightly lower as institutions and foreigners offloaded stocks on profit taking.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index fell 1.86 points, or 0.07 percent, to 2,491.91 as of 11:15 a.m.
Institutions and foreigners sold a combined 57 billion won ($50 million) worth of stocks, exceeding the 52 billion won stocks purchased by individuals.
Tech stocks led the losses, with market bellwether Samsung Electronics falling 0.04 percent and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix declining 2.95 percent.
Top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. also shed 0.33 percent, and leading steelmaker POSCO was down 0.15 percent.
Among the gainers, state-run utility Korea Electric Power Corp. rose 0.25 percent, top Internet portal operator Naver climbed 0.75 percent, and No. 1 cosmetics firm AmorePacific was up 2.85 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,128.60 won against the US dollar, up 1.60 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)