South Korean stocks fell to a five-month low Tuesday on lingering concerns about the Federal Reserve's continued monetary tightening path and risks in the Chinese property sector. The local currency fell sharply against the US dollar to hit a yearly low.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index shed 32.79 points, or 1.31 percent, to close at 2,462.97, extending a losing streak to the fourth session. Trading volume was a bit slim at 418.85 million shares worth 6.86 trillion won ($5.09 billion), with losers outpacing gainers 737 to 150.
The index opened lower and had extended losses to fall to the lowest level since April 6, when the Kospi finished at 2,459.23.
Institutions and foreigners sold a net 473.68 billion won and 45.83 billion won worth of shares, respectively, while retail investors bought a net 498.77 billion won worth of shares.
"Investor sentiment remains weak ahead of the upcoming holiday at home as uncertainties stemming from external factors could grow further," Han Ji-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities Co., said.
South Korean stock, ETF, derivatives and commodity markets will all be closed during the extended Chuseok holiday starting Thursday through Oct. 3.
Investors were worried about the Chinese real estate market and the broader economy, as, according to foreign media reports, Chinese developer Evergrande Group missed an onshore bond repayment Tuesday and former executives have been detained.
In the United States, the Fed has signaled higher interests rates for longer to curb inflation amid rising oil prices and other factors, sending Treasury yields higher.
Adding to woes is the chance of a US government shutdown on dimming hopes for a compromise to resolve a budgetary standoff.
Top-cap tech shares lost ground to drag down the index.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics fell 1.15 percent to 68,600 won, and chip giant SK hynix lost 1.71 percent to 115,000 won.
Leading battery maker LG Energy Solution inched down 0.11 percent to 475,500 won, and POSCO Holdings dropped 1.11 percent to 533,000 won.
LG Chem retreated 0.79 percent to 505,000 won, while Samsung SDI inched up 0.19 percent to 522,000 won.
Biotech firm Samsung Biologics sank 2.02 percent to 680,000 won, and Celltrion skidded 1.94 percent to 136,600 won.
Carmakers closed lower. Top automaker Hyundai Motor tumbled 1.14 percent to 190,700 won, and its affiliate Kia decreased 1.46 percent to 80,900 won.
Major platform operators also lost ground. Internet giant Naver dived 2.66 percent to 201,000 won, and Kakao, the operator of the popular mobile messenger KakaoTalk, lost 2.34 percent to 43,750 won.
The local currency ended at 1,348.5 won against the US dollar, or the lowest level for this year, down 12.0 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)