SOUTH Korean shares fell on Wednesday (Aug 17), underperforming Asian peers, as automakers slumped and investors booked profit ahead of the US Federal Reserve's meeting minutes.
The Korean won weakened, while the benchmark bond yield rose.
The benchmark Kospi ended down 17.05 points or 0.67 per cent at 2,516.47, after rising for 3 sessions to its highest since mid-June.
Among heavyweights, technology giant Samsung Electronics fell 0.98 per cent but peer SK Hynix rose 0.41 per cent.
Hyundai Motor and Kia saw their worst day since late June, down 3.80 and 4.02 per cent, respectively, after US President Joe Biden signed a legislation that cuts tax credits for electric vehicles (EV) assembled outside North America.
EV battery makers LG Energy Solution fell 1.52 per cent and Samsung SDI lost 0.47 per cent, but SK Innovation jumped 3.19 per cent.
The domestic market was weaker than the broader Asian market due to sell-off pressure from comparably stronger gains in recent days, said Seo Jung-hun, analyst at Samsung Securities.
Most other stock markets in Asia strengthened, including Japan, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Australia. Japan's Nikkei rose more than 1 per cent, while MSCI Asia-pacific index excluding Japan gained 0.3 per cent.
Foreigners were net buyers of 56.9 billion won (S$59.9 million) worth of shares on the main board.
The won was quoted at 1,310.3 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.17 per cent lower than its previous close at 1,308.1.
In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,310.2 per dollar, up 0.1 per cent from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading its 1-month contract was quoted at 1,309.2.
In money and debt markets, September futures on 3-year treasury bonds fell 0.12 point to 105.34 in late afternoon trade.
The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 1.7 basis points to 3.100 per cent, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by 3.7 basis points to 3.198 per cent. REUTERS