SEOUL, April 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks turned lower late Friday morning as foreigners and institutions sold shares amid increased valuation pressure.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 16.35 points, or 0.52 percent, to 3,126.91 points as of 11:20 a.m.
Local stocks retreated as the KOSPI's five consecutive days of gains raised concerns of valuation pressure.
The stock index started a tad higher on the back of the U.S. Federal Reserve's assurance that it will continue supporting the economy without stoking inflation.
In Seoul, market kingpin Samsung Electronics lost 1.18 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix shed 2.43 percent.
Internet portal giant Naver traded flat, with leading carmaker Hyundai Motor stepping down 1.51 percent.
Leading chemical maker LG Chem declined 0.74 percent, while rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI climbed 1.07 percent. Top pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics slid 0.39 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,117.4 won to the U.S. dollar as of 11:20 a.m., down 0.2 won from the previous session's close.