South Korean shares fell on Monday, led by export shares, as the expected nomination of Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Haruhiko Kuroda as new Bank of Japan (BOJ) governor dragged down the Japanese yen against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 9. 37 points, or 0.46 percent, to close at 2,009.52. Trading volume stood at 333.24 million shares worth 3.1 trillion won (2.85 billion U.S. dollars).
Export shares led the decline. Top automaker Hyundai Motor fell 2 percent, and its affiliate Kia Motors slid 0.9 percent. The nation's biggest auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis dipped 2.6 percent, and memory chip giant SK Hynix lost 0.4 percent.
The Japanese yen fell versus the dollar after Kyodo news agency reported that the new government led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is preparing to name ADB President Kuroda as new BOJ head. Kuroda was known to support aggressive monetary easing that will weaken the yen further.
Export shares, which compete fiercely with Japanese rivals in overseas markets, lost ground on speculation over aggressive monetary stimulus.
Institutional investors sold stocks worth 97.1 billion won, pulling down the main index. Foreign funds raised their holdings of local stocks by 32.1 billion won, and retail investors bought a net 75 billion won worth of stocks.
The local currency finished at 1,086.3 won against the greenback, down 1.6 won from Friday's close.
Bond prices ended mixed. The yield on the liquid three-year treasury notes lost 0.01 percentage point to 2.68 percent, but the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds closed unchanged at 2.80 percent.