South Korean shares fell for the sixth straight session on Monday as stronger-than-expected nonfarm payroll in the United States rekindled concerns over the early tapering of the Federal Reserve's asset purchasing program.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 7. 57 points, or 0.38 percent, to close at 1,977.30. Trading volume stood at 282.67 million shares worth 3.26 trillion won (3.04 billion U.S. dollars).
The U.S. economy created 204,000 jobs in October despite the partial government shutdown, exceeding analysts' estimates of around 120,000 workers hired.
The positive employment data along with the Thursday's third- quarter GDP growth in the U.S. spooked investors as upbeat data can propel the Fed to start slowing down the pace of its 85- billion-dollar asset purchase program sooner than expected.
The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 2.8 percent in the third quarter, higher than 2.5 percent in the prior quarter and beating market consensus of 2 percent.
Investors refrained from taking active positions to wait and see the results of the ongoing Third Plenary Session of the 18th Communist Party of China Central Committee that will decide on overall economic policies.
Foreigners offloaded a net 71 billion won worth of shares, keeping their selling streak for six straight sessions. Institutional investors sold stocks worth 15 billion won, but retail investors raised their holdings of stocks by 91 billion won to hunt for bargains.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 1.3 percent, the first rise in six sessions, but top automaker Hyundai Motor fell 0. 4 percent. The world's largest shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries slid 1.5 percent, and memory chip giant SK Hynix declined 2.3 percent.
The state-run electricity provider Korea Electric Power Corp. ( KEPCO) dipped 0.2 percent, but the nation's biggest auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis added 0.8 percent.
The South Korean currency finished at 1,072.5 won against the greenback, down 7.6 won from Friday's close.
Bond prices ended lower. The yield on the liquid three-year treasury notes jumped 0.07 percentage point to 2.95 percent, and the return on the benchmark 10-year government bonds increased 0. 09 percentage point to 3.58 percent.