South Korean shares fell for two straight sessions Tuesday as the Japanese yen's slide to the U.S. dollar boosted concerns over competitiveness of local exporters.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) slid 17. 78 points, or 0.91 percent, to close at 1,935.19. Trading volume stood at 387.73 million shares worth 4.87 trillion won (4.52 billion U.S. dollars).
Bank of Japan (BOJ)'s surprise monetary stimulus caused the yen to tumble to the weakest level in almost seven years to the dollar.
It triggered worries about the weak yen as the depreciation of the Japanese currency dents price competitiveness of South Korean exporters, including Hyundai Motor that are fiercely competing with Japanese rivals in the global market.
The country's largest carmaker Hyundai Motor, which depends on overseas seals for more than half of its revenue, declined 3.1 percent to close at 155,000 won, keeping a downward trend for four straight sessions.
Hyundai Motor and its affiliate Kia Motors reportedly agreed to pay a 100 million-dollar fine in the United States for exaggerating fuel efficiency for about 1.2 million cars. Kia Motors dipped 0.2 percent, and the country's No.1 auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis lost 0.4 percent.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics retreated 1.5 percent, and memory chip giant SK Hynix fell 1.3 percent. Oil refiners, including SK Innovation, S-Oil and GS, declined from 2 percent to 5 percent on lower crude prices, and the biggest steelmaker POSCO tumbled 3.8 percent on worries about sluggish economic recovery.
The South Korean currency finished at 1,076.5 won against the greenback, down 3.9 won from Monday's close.
Bond prices ended higher. Yields on the liquid three-year treasury notes fell 2.4 basis points to 2.096 percent, and the return on the benchmark 10-year government bonds lost 2.8 basis points to 2.629 percent.