SEOUL, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- South Korean shares fell on Tuesday as foreign investors continued to sell local shares amid lack of momentum to move stocks in either direction.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index declined 14.78 points, or 0.76 percent, to close at 1,926.81. Trading volume stood at 528.61 million shares worth 4.1 trillion won (3.72 billion U.S. dollars).
The KOSPI started lower, and extended its earlier losses as foreigners kept it selling streak for three sessions in a row amid lack of news to move the main index up or down.
Overseas investors sold a net 60 billion won worth of stocks, indicating that foreigners held a negative view over the local stock market. Retail investors purchased a net 204.1 billion won worth of stocks, but local institutions offloaded a net 138.4 billion won worth of shares.
Market watchers said foreign selling weighed on the local stock market as their selling means their negative view over the South Korean financial market, noting that selling by institutional investors was also negative in terms of supply and demand.
The recent appreciation of local currency catalyzed foreign selling as the continued ascent of the South Korean won against the greenback triggered speculation that the local currency will depreciate from the rally.
Among large-cap shares, decliners outnumbered gainers. The world's largest shipyard Hyundai Heavy Industries dropped 3.3 percent to 235,500 won, and leading chemical firm LG Chem slid 3.7 percent to 311,000 won. Top steelmaker POSCO retreated 2.1 percent to 348,500 won, and the nation's biggest auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis declined 2 percent to 291,500 won.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics edged down 0.1 percent to 1,313,000 won, but top wireless carrier SK Telecom gained 1.3 percent to 157,500 won. The nation's No.1 life insurer Samsung Life Insurance inched up 0.1 percent to 92,800 won, and the state- run power supplier Korea Electric Power advanced 1.6 percent to 28, 400 won.
The local currency finished at 1,103.1 won against the greenback, up 1.1 won from Monday's close.
Bond prices ended higher. The yield on the liquid three-year treasury notes slid 0.02 percentage point to 2.82 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds lost 0.02 percentage point to 2.90 percent.