What went up must come down as Kospi falls 2.14%
Stocks dropped more than 2 percent Tuesday as foreign and institutional investors took profits after the Kospi hit an all-time high the previous session. The won fell against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi fell 68.68 points Tuesday, or 2.14 percent, to close at 3,140.31 points.
Trading volume was high at about 860 million shares worth some 21.6 trillion won ($19.5 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 639 to 239.
Foreigners sold a net 2 trillion won, while retail investors purchased a net 4.2 trillion won. Institutions offloaded a net 2.3 trillion won.
The Kospi lost most of its 2.18-percent gain the previous day, led by declining tech and chemical heavyweights.
"A weak local currency fueled foreign investors' appetite to sell," Daeshin Securities analyst Lee Kyung-min said.
"Foreigners seem to have gone through a portfolio shuffle, selling their appreciated stocks and buying the less appreciated stocks," he added.
Major blue chips closed lower.
Samsung Electronics lost 3.02 percent to 86,700 won, and chipmaker SK hynix shed 4.44 percent to 129,000 won.
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics gained 1.52 percent to reach 802,000 won, and Celltrion rose 0.47 percent to 322,500 won.
Internet portal giant Naver retreated 2.01 percent to 342,000 won, with its rival Kakao dipping 2.64 percent to 461,000 won.
Online game maker NCSoft fell 4.22 percent to 953,000 won, while its rival Netmarble lost 1.92 percent to 127,500 won.
Chemical maker LG Chem fell 3.54 percent to 955,000 won, and rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI closed unchanged at 790,000 won.
Hyundai Motor, the country's largest automaker, declined 3.27 percent to 251,500 won and Kia declined 3.86 percent to 89,700 won. Auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis lost 2.73 percent to 338,000 won.
LG Household & Healthcare decreased 2.98 percent to 1,626,000 won.
The Kosdaq lost 5.3 points, or 0.53 percent, to close at 994.00.
The local currency closed at 1,106.5 won per dollar, up 5.8 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The return on the three-year bond added 0.1 basis points to close at 1.007 percent, and the return on the 10-year bond lost 5.3 basis points to close at 1.03 percent.
BY CHEA SARAH, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]