South Korean shares fell on Wednesday as investors took to the sidelines ahead of the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 12. 31 points, or 0.65 percent, to close at 1,888.31. Trading volume stood at 276.99 million shares worth 3.28 trillion won (2.9 billion U.S. dollars).
Foreign investors kept their selling spree by offloading a net 129.8 billion won worth of local shares. Over the past nine sessions, foreigners sold stocks of around 4 trillion won.
Investors remained on the sidelines ahead of the FOMC meeting scheduled for Wednesday. U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was expected to talk about the exit from quantitative easing following the regular policy meeting.
Institutional investors turned to net sellers at the last minutes of the trading with 13.9 billion won worth of stocks sold. Retail investors bought stocks worth 119 billion won in a bid to hunt for bargains.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics declined 1.3 percent on the back of foreign selling. Foreigners continued to sell Samsung shares following a JP Morgan's report over the slower growth in sales of smartphones, which account for around 70 percent of the company.
Top automaker Hyundai Motor rose 1.5 percent after news that its market share in Europe advanced. The No.2 carmaker Kia Motors ended flat, but the nation's biggest auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis fell 1.1 percent.
The local currency finished at 1,130.8 won against the greenback, up 0.3 won from Tuesday's close.
Bond prices ended lower. The yield on the liquid three-year treasury notes added 0.04 percentage point to 2.81 percent, and the return on the benchmark 10-year government bonds rose 0.03 percentage point to 3.24 percent.
Editor: Zhu Ningzhu