South Korean stocks tumbled on Monday as investor sentiment was knocked by fears of a global trade war. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 27.1 points, or 1.13 percent, to close at 2,375.06. Trade volume was moderate at 304 million shares worth 5.66 trillion won (US$5.23 billion).
The local stock market opened lower as investors continued to worry about the impact of U.S. tariffs on the global economy.
Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities, said the likelihoods of a trade war were raised on concerns that U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum products would lead to retaliatory tariffs by China, the European Union and Canada.
Also, the American tariff measures are likely to signal the rise of inflationary pressure in the U.S., Seo said.
Samsung Electronics fell 1.78 percent to end at 2,260,000 won, while SK hynix, a global chipmaker, rose 1.16 percent to 78,300 won.
Naver, the operator of the country's top Internet portal, shed 0.89 percent at 779,000 won.
Automakers traded in negative terrain, with industry leader Hyundai Motor down 1.92 percent to 153,000 won, and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors edging down 0.3 percent to 33,400 won.
The local currency closed at 1,082.00 won against the U.S. dollar, down 1.7 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys gained 2.1 basis points to 2.311 percent, and the return on benchmark five-year government bonds added 0.6 basis point to 2.550 percent. (Yonhap News)