South Korean shares ended lower Thursday as Hyundai Motor Group shares dropped after news that Hyundai Motor, the country's No.1 automaker, won a bid for real estate in Seoul at an offer price more than triple the appraised value.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) sank 14. 87 points, or 0.72 percent, to close at 2,047.74. Trading volume stood at 390.55 million shares worth 5.22 trillion won (5.01 billion U.S. dollars).
Hyundai Motor tumbled 9.2 percent, and its affiliates Kia Motors and Hyundai Mobis plunged 7.8 percent and 7.9 percent respectively, leading the stock market's overall decline.
The Hyundai Motor Group, which includes Kia and Mobis, won the bid for the site of Korea Electric Power Corp.'s headquarters with a 10.55 trillion won offer, more than three times an assessed value of 3.33 trillion won.
The state-owned power provider announced its auction plan in July ahead of relocating its headquarters to the south of the country in November.
The South Korean government has called on 18 public corporations, including the KEPCO, to cut massive debts by selling assets and shedding unnecessary businesses.
Shares of the utility firm surged 5.8 percent as the property was sold at a higher price than anticipated.
Other large-cap shares ended mixed. Samsung Electronics, SK Hynix and SK Telecom ended in negative territory, but POSCO and Naver gained ground.
U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen indicated the Fed's rate increase will not come soon, keeping the phrase of maintaining a zero-rate stance "for a considerable time" even after ending its monthly bond buying program this year.
Despite her comments, worries remained about earlier-than- expected rate hike. Foreign and institutional investors sold stocks worth 106.9 billion won and 176.8 billion won each, but retail investors bought a net 292 billion won worth of stocks.
The South Korean currency finished at 1,043.4 won against the greenback, down 8.5 won from Wednesday's close.
Bond prices ended higher. Yield on the liquid three-year treasury notes declined 0.004 percentage point to 2.365 percent, and the return on the benchmark 10-year government bonds retreated 0.012 percentage point to 3.022 percent.