SEOUL, Oct. 16 (Yonhap) -- South Korean shares retreated for a fourth consecutive session Friday, largely on concerns that the COVID-19 resurgence in major economies may hurt exports. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) dropped 19.68 points, or 0.83 percent, to close at 2,341.53.
Trading volume was moderate at about 908 million shares worth some 11 trillion won (US$9.6 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 622 to 240.
Foreigners sold a net 173 billion won and institutions offloaded a net 202 billion won, while retail investors purchased a net 489.8 billion won.
Stocks traded bearish, led by losses in giant tech and auto exporters.
The fall came after the overnight Wall Street losses that stemmed from a continued hike in new COVID-19 infections in the United States and Europe.
Amid the spreading virus woes, the Dow Jones Industrial Average went down 0.07 percent to close at 28,494.2 on Thursday (New York time), with the Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500 dipping 0.47 percent and 0.15 percent, respectively.
"The recent jump in the COVID-19 toll (in the major economies) is dampening investor sentiment in the global financial markets," said Kiwoom Securities analyst Seo Sang-young.
"Investors seem to be worried that the strained global economy may pull down South Korea's exports," he added.
Most large caps closed lower.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics lost 0.83 percent to 59,500 won, with No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix dipping 2.07 percent to 85,300 won.
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung BioLogics retreated 2.41 percent to 687,000 won, but leading chemical maker LG Chem climbed 0.47 percent to 640,000 won.
The country's largest automaker, Hyundai Motor, dropped 2.27 percent to 172,000 won, but internet portal giant Naver gained 0.34 percent to 293,500 won.
Big Hit Entertainment, the management agency of K-pop phenoms BTS, plunged 22.29 percent to 200,500 won on the second day of trading.
The local currency closed at 1,147.4 won against the U.S. dollar, down 4.2 won from the previous session's close.