Seoul shares ended lower Tuesday, snapping a six-day winning streak, as investors remain watchful on escalating US-China tension over Taiwan amid global recession worries. The Korean won fell against the US dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index fell 12.63 points, or 0.52 percent, to close at 2,451.5 points.
Trading volume was moderate at 539.85 million shares worth 7.2 trillion won ($5.5 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 615 to 240.
To get a cue, investors are keeping an eye on US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's planned visit to Taiwan late Tuesday and any new comments from the Federal Reserve officials about the need for higher rates to combat inflation, analysts said.
China has warned of "grave consequences" if Pelosi makes the trip to what it regards as part of its territory.
The Fed is expected to become less aggressive in raising rates because of recession risk after the US economy shrank for a second consecutive quarter in the second quarter. But any shift in such expectations could stoke market volatility, they said.
Institutions sold a net 595 billion won worth of stocks, fully offsetting foreigners and individuals' stock purchases valued at 587 billion won.
Large-cap stocks were mixed across the board.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. rose 0.7 percent to 61,700 won, top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. climbed 0.3 percent to 196,500 won, Hyundai's affiliate Kia Corp. gained 1 percent to 81,200 won, and the country's sole aircraft manufacturer Korea Aerospace Industries Co. was up 0.2 percent to 58,200 won.
Among losers, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. fell 0.6 percent to 96,500 won, national flag carrier Korean Air Lines Co. declined 0.4 percent to 25,000 won, and leading battery maker LG Energy Solution shed 0.6 percent to 417,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,304.70 won against the US dollar, down 0.70 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)