SEOUL, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- South Korean shares showed the first fall in three sessions on Monday as retail investors took profits from the previous session's rally, offsetting speculation over additional stimulus action by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) lost 4. 88 points, or 0.25 percent, to close at 1,924.70. Trading volume stood at 614.13 million shares worth 4.28 trillion won (3.79 billion U.S. dollars).
The KOSPI started higher due to emerging expectations for further monetary easing by the U.S. central bank.
The highly-anticipated monthly non-farm payroll report showed the U.S. economy added 96,000 jobs in August, lower than the previous expected 130,000. The unemployment rate edged down to 8.1 percent in August from 8.3 percent in July, but the decline was due mainly to lots of people giving up job-seeking efforts.
The weaker-than-expected employment data hinted that the U.S. job market was still far from recovery, fueling the speculation that the Fed will announce further measures to stimulate the economy in its upcoming policy meeting. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke reiterated last week that the central bank was ready to act if necessary.
The KOSPI, however, turned into negative terrain later as retail investors locked in profits from the previous session's rally of around 2.6 percent jump. Cautiousness over the European fiscal crisis remained ahead of the German constitutional court's ruling over the region's bailout funds scheduled on Wednesday.
Foreign investors kept their buying streak by purchasing a net 208 billion won worth of local shares, but retail investors sold a net 148.5 billion won worth of stocks on profit-taking demand. Local institutions offloaded shares worth 65.4 billion won.
Among large-cap shares, losers outnumbered gainers. The nation' s No. 2 carmaker Kia Motors dipped 0.27 percent to 72,900 won, and top auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis inched down 0.33 percent to 303, 000 won. Leading chemical firm LG Chem declined 0.64 percent to 311,000 won, and top life insurer Samsung Life Insurance retreated 1.04 percent to 95,400 won.
The world's largest shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries fell 0. 42 percent to 238,500 won, and the nation's No. 1 crude oil refiner SK Innovation declined 1.18 percent to 168,000 won.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics finished unchanged at 1, 250,000 won, but top automaker Hyundai Motor rose 0.21 percent to 236,500 won. The country's biggest steelmaker POSCO edged up 0.41 percent to 365,500 won, and the nation's No. 3 banking group Shinhan Financial Group added 0.28 percent to 35,950 won.
The local currency finished at 1,129.3 won against the greenback, up 1.0 won from Friday's close.
Bond prices ended higher. The yield on the liquid three-year treasury notes slid 0.02 percentage point to 2.80 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds lost 0.02 percentage point to 2.88 percent.