South Korean shares fell on Monday amid escalating concerns the US government might be shut down due to the Congress disagreement over the budget plan and the debt ceiling hike.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) declined 14.84 points, or 0.74 percent, to close at 1,996.96. Trading volume stood at 285.76 million shares worth 4.1 trillion won (3.82 billion US dollars).
US Senate passed a stopgap spending bill to fund the federal government's operations from Oct. 1 to Nov. 15, but the House of Representatives led by the Republicans objected to the bill. US President Barak Obama urged Republic lawmakers to quickly approve the spending bill and raise the country's debt ceiling to avoid a historic debt default.
Retail and institutional investors sold stocks worth 14 billion won and 81 billion won respectively, leading the main index's decline.
Foreigners, however, bought a net 114 billion won worth of local stocks, keeping their winning streak for the 24th consecutive session. It was the longest buying streak since 1999 when the Korea Exchange began to compile the related data.
For the whole month of September, foreign buying totaled 7.64 trillion won, the record monthly high of foreign purchases in the country's history.
Large-cap shares ended mixed. Market bellwether Samsung Electronics edged up 0.1 percent, and top life insurer Samsung Life Insurance gained 2 percent. The nation's biggest wireless carrier SK Telecom advanced 1.4 percent, but leading chemical firm LG Chem dropped 3.6 percent. Hyundai Mobis, KB Financial Group and Hyundai Motor declined more than 2 percent.
The South Korean currency finished at 1,074.7 won against the greenback, down 1.0 won from Friday's close.
Bond prices ended higher. The yield on the liquid three-year treasury notes lost 0.01 percentage point to 2.82 percent, and the return on the benchmark 10-year government bonds fell 0.02 percentage point to 3.42 percent.