South Korean stocks closed nearly flat Wednesday as major shares ended in mixed territory. The local currency lost ground against the US dollar.
Swinging between gains and losses, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index added 1.1 points, or 0.04 percent, to close at 2,495.38.
Trade volume was slim at 384.3 million shares worth 7.51 trillion won ($5.71 billion), with winners outnumbering losers 499 to 371.
Institutions scooped up a net 240.5 billion won worth of shares, while individual and foreign investors dumped shares worth a net 93.8 billion won and 146.2 billion won, respectively.
"The local stock market will likely see a stagnant movement as investors take a cautious approach in the year-end season to avoid large share transfer taxes," said Han Ji-young, an analyst from Kiwoom Securities.
Market heavyweights finished mixed across the board.
Samsung Electronics, the largest share in terms of market cap and the world's biggest memory chipmaker, edged up 0.7 percent to 71,700 won, and its rival SK hynix fell 0.24 percent to 125,600 won.
Leading battery maker LG Energy Solution lost 1.28 percent to 424,500 won, and Posco Future M dropped 1.39 percent to 318,500 won.
Major drugmaker Celltrion decreased 1.54 percent to 160,100 won, and Samsung Biologics declined 1.4 percent to 705,000 won.
But carmakers were strong, with industry leader Hyundai Motor advancing 0.83 percent to 182,900 won and its sister Kia rising 0.48 percent to 84,500 won.
Mobile carriers were also in positive territory, with No. 1 SK Telecom gaining 1.59 percent to 51,100 won and runner-up KT climbing 1.47 percent to 34,450 won.
The local currency ended at 1,313.10 won against the greenback, down 1.9 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)