Seoul shares extended losses late Wednesday morning, following a mixed close on Wall Street, as investors await U.S. chip giant Nvidia Corp.'s earnings results and comments from the U.S. Federal Reserve on its monetary policy.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 9.97 points, or 0.40 percent, to 2,505.77 as of 11:20 a.m.
Overnight, U.S. stocks ended mixed, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling 0.51 percent but the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite inching up 0.06 percent.
Nvidia's second-quarter earnings results will likely have broader implications for stock markets as the tech stock accounts for more than 3 percent of the S&P 500, analysts said.
Investors are also watching an address Friday (U.S. time) by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell for clues on the U.S. central bank's future monetary policy, they said.
Institutions and foreigners sold a combined 81 billion won (US$60 million) worth of stocks, while individuals bought a net 88 billion won in stocks.
In Seoul, large-cap stocks were mixed across the board.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. rose 0.6 percent, leading wireless services provider SK Telecom Co. climbed 0.2 percent, state utility Korea Electric Power Corp. gained 1.4 percent, and leading cosmetics firm AmorePacific Corp. was up 3.4 percent.
Among decliners, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. fell 1.3 percent, top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. declined 0.3 percent, and leading battery maker LG Energy Solution was down 2 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,336.75 won against the U.S. dollar at 11:20 a.m., down 1.25 won from the previous session's close.
Source: Yonhap News Agency