[SEOUL] South Korean shares drifted slightly lower on Tuesday morning, as investors consolidated gains after a China-inspired rally in the previous session.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was down 0.15 per cent at 1,975.63 points as of 0215 GMT.
The KOSPI touched a seven-week high on Monday after China, South Korea's largest trading partner, cut interest rates last Friday for the first time in two years.
SK Hynix climbed 2.4 per cent, buoyed by forecasts from several brokerages tipping the chipmaker will post record quarterly profits in the October-December period.
SM Entertainment Co rose 4 per cent on media reports saying Alibaba Group Holdings was considering an investment in the country's largest K-Pop talent agency.
S.M shares rose as much as the daily limit of 15 per cent earlier but surrendered gains after it said in a statement that the report was "not true," although it was in discussion with many parties about a potential partnership.
Defensive plays such as consumer staples outperformed the broader market.
Foreign investors underpinned the market, having gobbled up a net 76.5 billion won (US$68.74 million) worth of shares approaching midday, poised for a sixth-straight buying session.
December futures on three-year treasury bonds added 3 basis points to trade at 108.21.