[SEOUL] South Korean shares hit a near four-week low on Wednesday as the local currency, which has been rallying against the US dollar, has dented demand for local stocks from offshore investors.
As of 0208 GMT, the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) was down one per cent at 2,055.01, its lowest since Jan 11.
"Foreigners are mostly selling market heavyweight shares and putting much more pressure on the index," said Lee Jae-Man, stock analyst, Hana Daetoo Securities.
Mr Lee added that increased volatility in the won has become a negative factor for foreign stock investors.
Offshore investors were set to be net sellers for the day, offloading 141.1 billion Korean won (S$174.62 million) worth of Kospi shares near mid-session, weighing on the index.
Tech giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd drops as much as 1.6 per cent, while chipmaker SK Hynix Inc slides as much as 1.7 per cent and Hyundai Motor Co falls as much as 1.1 per cent.
Decliners far outnumbered advancers 581 to 227.
The South Korean won stood at 1,145.7, dropped 0.1 per cent compared with Tuesday's close of 1,144.3.
March futures on three-year treasury bonds gained 0.01 point to 109.55.