Seoul stocks ended lower for a third consecutive session Monday on concerns over the Fed's aggressive rate hikes and a global economic recession. The Korean won tumbled to an over 13-year low against the US dollar.
After choppy trading, the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 0.24 percent, or 5.73 points, to 2,403.68.
Trading volume was moderate at 346.4 million shares worth 6.13 trillion won ($4.5 billion), with decliners outpacing gainers 606 to 252.
The KOSPI opened higher on bargain hunting after shedding 2.5 percent in the previous two sessions. But the main index turned lower amid worries over the Fed's aggressive monetary tightening and a global economic recession.
The US central bank has said it will continue interest rate hikes for some time to tame inflation. In July, it raised its key interest rate by 75 basis points for the second straight month.
"The dollar's strength mainly weighed investors' appetite for risky assets in today's session," Park Hee-cheol, an analyst at Mirae Asset Securities Co., said.
Foreigners and individuals sold a combined 135 billion won worth of stocks, fully offsetting institutional buying valued at 134 billion won.
Tech and airline stocks were lead decliners, with market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. falling 0.7 percent to 57,100 won, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. declining 0.7 percent to 91,100 won and national flag carrier Korean Air Lines Co. shedding 2.3 percent to 25,550 won.
Among gainers, top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. rose 1.8 percent to 200,000 won, leading tiremaker Hankook Tire & Technology Co. climbed 2.5 percent to 39,600 won, and leading steelmaker POSCO Holdings gained 2.6 percent to 252,500 won.
The local currency traded at 1,371.4 won against the US dollar, down 8.8 won from the previous session's close. It marked the lowest figure since April 1, 2009, when it ended at 1,379.5 won. (Yonhap)