South Korean shares ended lower on Tuesday from the previous session's rebound as concerns over the U. S. fiscal cliff issue still pressured the market sentiment, while weak U.S. economic data added worries on the economic growth.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 4. 84 points, or 0.25 percent, to close at 1,935.18. Trading volume stood at 288.24 million shares worth 2.8 trillion won (2.59 billion U.S. dollars).
The KOSPI started lower, and stayed in negative terrain throughout the session. Negative news from the world's No.1 economy weighed on investors'sentiment.
The U.S. House Speaker John Boehner and six other House Republican leaders on Sunday unveiled a proposal, calling for 800 billion dollars in revenue through tax reforms and 600 billion dollars in health savings. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said that the Republicans would ultimately agree to raise tax rates on the rich to avert the potential economic disaster of the cliff.
Investors still lacked confidence in the solution of the fiscal issue in the United States and the mood weighed on the local stock market.
On the economic front, the U.S. manufacturing activities unexpected contracted last month. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) manufacturing index fell to 49.5 in November, dropping to the lowest level in nearly three years. The figure boosted concerns over the U.S. economic recovery.
Institutional investors led the market decline by offloading a net 91 billion won worth of stocks. The KOSPI's fall was limited thanks to stock purchases by foreign and retail investors that bought shares worth 88.2 billion won and 9.3 billion won each.
Large-cap shares ended mixed. Top steelmaker POSCO declined 1. 9 percent to 318,500 won, and leading chemical firm LG Chem, the nation's biggest auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis and the nation's No.2 banking group KB Financial Group retreated more than 1 percent.
The nation's No.1 automaker Hyundai Motor inched down 0.2 percent to 228,000 won, and its affiliate Kia Motors closed in negative terrain. Market bellwether Samsung Electronics and top crude oil refiner SK Innovation ended steady.
The nation's largest life insurer Samsung Life Insurance rose 1.2 percent to 93,200 won, and memory chip giant SK Hynix gained ground. The world's largest shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries ended slightly higher.
The local currency finished at 1,083.4 won against the greenback, down 0.3 won from Monday's close.
Bond prices ended flat. The yield on the liquid three-year treasury notes closed unchanged at 2.84 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds finished steady at 2.91 percent.