South Korean stocks closed slightly lower Thursday amid a mixed outlook on whether the United States will maintain its monetary tightening policy. The local currency rose against the US dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index declined 2.09 points, or 0.09 percent, to close at 2,403.60.
Trading volume was moderate at 446.01 million shares worth 8.96 trillion won ($6.64 billion), with losers outpacing gainers 583 to 295.
Foreigners and institutions dumped a net 272.1 billion won and 1.7 billion won worth of shares, respectively, while retail investors bought a net 315.9 billion won worth of shares.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics fell 1.19 percent to 66,700 won, but No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix jumped 4.16 percent to 120,200 won on expectations the price of memory chips will go up in the fourth quarter.
Top automaker Hyundai Motor was down 0.16 percent to 190,500 won, while its affiliate Kia went up 1.95 percent to 83,500 won.
Energy shares ended in positive terrain.
Industry leader LG Energy Solution rose more than 2.5 percent to 467,500 won, and its smaller rival Samsung SDI added 0.93 percent to 489,000 won.
Major biotech firm Samsung Biologics shot up 4.63 percent to 723,000 won, and leading chemical producer LG Chem jumped 3.29 percent to 502,000 won.
IT stocks lost ground.
Internet portal operator Naver lost 0.94 percent to 189,400 won, and Kakao, the operator of the country's top mobile messenger, retreated 1.8 percent to 40,850 won.
Posco shares were also weak, with steel giant Posco Holdings flat at 511,000 won and its battery component making affiliate, Posco Future M, down 0.89 percent to 333,000 won.
The local currency ended at 1,350.50 won against the greenback, up 13 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)
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