South Korean stocks turned lower Wednesday morning as institutions offloaded stocks on profit taking ahead of major companies' earnings releases from this week.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index fell 0.92 points, or 0.04 percent, to 2,489.57 as of 11:15 a.m.
Institutions extended their net selling to 115 billion won ($102 million), offsetting 117 billion won stocks purchased by foreigners and individuals.
Large-cap stocks were mixed across the board, with market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. rising 0.26 percent but No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix falling 0.12 percent. Top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. declined 1.99 percent, but leading steelmaker POSCO climbed 1.37 percent.
Samsung Electronics, Hyundai Motor and POSCO are all set to release their third-quarter earnings results this week.
The local currency was trading at 1,129.00 won against the US dollar, down 1.60 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)