The South Korean bourse shed some earlier gains late Wednesday morning as institutions sold off stocks. The won rose against the dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index was up 2.71 points, or 0.11 percent, to 2,368.04 as of 11:20 a.m.
Institutions sold a net 74 billion won ($65 million), outweighing net buying worth 72 billion won by foreigners and individuals.
Analysts didn't expect any strong rally in the KOSPI index as investors await cues from the US Federal Reserve's annual economic policy symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, this week.
Large-cap stocks were mixed across the board, with market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. rising 0.81 percent and leading steelmaker POSCO falling 2.21 percent.
No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. fell 0.44 percent, and No. 1 shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. climbed 1.67 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,129.90 won against the US dollar, up 3.90 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)