SEOUL, (Xinhua) -- South Korean shares ended almost unchanged on Wednesday as investors refrained from taking aggressive position ahead of major global events such as the Third Plenary Session of the 18th Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) inched down 0.26 point, or 0.01 percent, to close at 2,013.67. Trading volume stood at 267.84 million shares worth 3.88 trillion won (3. 66 billion U.S. dollars).
Investors took a wait-and-see stance ahead of the major political event in China, which will set directions on its future economic policies. China is South Korea's largest trading partner.
Employment data for October will be announced on Friday in the United States and the European Central Bank (ECB)'s regular monetary policy meeting was scheduled for this week.
Foreigners kept their selling streak for three straight sessions by offloading a net 23.3 billion won worth of stocks. Institutional investors sold shares worth 90.1 billion won, adding downward pressure on the KOSPI.
Foreigners led the recent KOSPI gain by purchasing domestic stocks for the 44th consecutive session through Oct. 30, the longest winning streak in the country's history.
Retail investors hunted for bargains by purchasing a net 112 billion won worth of stocks.
Auto shares gained ground. Top automaker Hyundai Motor gained more than 2 percent, and its affiliate Kia Motors surged over 4 percent. The nation's biggest auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis ended in positive territory, and among other gainers were Hyundai Heavy Industries and the POSCO.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics declined more than 2 percent. Memory chip giant SK Hynix and leading chemical firm LG Chem ended slightly down.
The South Korean currency finished at 1,060.9 won against the greenback, up 0.3 won from Tuesday's close.
Bond prices ended mixed. The yield on the liquid three-year treasury notes closed unchanged at 2.88 percent, but the return on the benchmark 10-year government bonds lost 0.02 percentage point to 3.49 percent.