South Korean stocks snapped their two-day winning streak Tuesday, weighed down by concerns about rate hikes and slower economic growth. The Korean won rose against the US dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) retreated 4.28 points, or 0.18 percent, to close at 2,370.97 points.
Trading volume was relatively small at about 332 million shares worth some 6.3 trillion won ($4.8 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 573 to 271.
Institutions sold a net 145 billion won, while foreigners bought 39 billion won and retail investors purchased 92 billion won.
Stocks opened lower, tracking overnight falls on Wall Street.
US stocks retreated on spreading concerns about the aggressive monetary tightening, fanned by Apple Inc.'s decision to narrow hiring and cut costs.
"The investors' primary concern is the second-quarter corporate earnings at the moment. They are willing to wait and see how the numbers turn out," Meritz Securities analyst Lee Jin-woo said.
In Seoul, market behemoth Samsung Electronics dropped 1.62 percent to 60,900 won, with No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix losing 0.99 percent to 100,000 won.
Battery giant LG Energy Solution shed 2.54 percent to 383,000 won, and internet portal operator Naver retreated 1.22 percent to 243,500 won.
Among gainers, leading carmaker Hyundai Motor added 1.62 percent to 188,500 won, and its smaller affiliate Kia advanced 2.5 percent to 82,100 won.
The local currency closed at 1,313.4 won against the US dollar, up 4 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)