Profit-taking ends four-session winning streak for Kospi
Stocks ended a four-session winning streak on Wednesday as investors reaped profits from the recent stock rally. The won rose against the dollar.
After choppy trading, the benchmark Kospi fell 7.66 points, or 0.31 percent, to close at 2,435.92.
Trading volume was moderate at about 755 million shares worth some 11.6 trillion won ($9.9 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 543 to 308.
Institutions dumped a net 328 billion won, while foreigners bought a net 175 billion won.
Investors attempted to cash in recent gains after the index shot up to the highest since June 2018 the previous day.
Expectations about positive comments from the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), with its meeting set to conclude Thursday, limited a further fall.
In its last meeting, the FOMC revealed a shift of mid- and long-term policy in its inflation target.
The market consensus is that the FOMC is likely to unveil more detailed easing plans, such as stronger forward guidance and asset-buying plans, to buoy the pandemic-hit market.
In Seoul, large caps closed lower.
Samsung Electronics closed flat at 61,000 won, with chipmaker SK hynix shedding 0.49 percent to 81,500 won.
Internet portal giant Naver retreated 1.6 percent to 307,000 won, with its rival Kakao down 1.05 percent to 377,000 won.
Leading online game maker NCSoft lost 0.24 percent to 822,000 won, while its rival Netmarble shed 1.08 percent to 182,500 won.
Chemical maker LG Chem plunged 5.37 percent to 687,000 won, and rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI retreated 0.66 percent to 449,500 won.
Amorepacific added 0.29 percent to 170,000 won, and Korean Air gained 0.26 percent to 19,200 won.
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics added 0.39 percent to 776,000 won, and Celltrion gained 0.34 percent to 297,000 won.
Hyundai Motor, the country's largest automaker, advanced 2.51 percent to 183,500 won, while its affiliate Kia Motors spiked 4.7 percent to 46,750 won. Steelmaker Posco slipped 0.26 percent to 189,000 won.
The secondary Kosdaq lost 3.18 points, or 0.35 percent, to close at 896.28.
The local currency closed at 1,176.1 won against the dollar, down 2.9 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year bonds added 0.3 basis points to 0.91 percent, and the return on the 10-year bond added 0.3 basis points to 0.68 percent.
BY CHEA SARAH, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]