South Korean shares traded 0.87 percent lower late Tuesday morning as investor sentiment was hurt by the largest drop in eight years in China's stock market the previous day, analysts said.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 17.71 points to 2,021.1 as of 11:20 a.m.
Leading the loss are food makers, including CJ CheilJedang, which dropped 3.09 percent. The retail sector also suffered a marked setback, with BGF Retail, the operator of convenience store franchise CU, plunging 7.73 percent.
Pharmaceutical companies continued their downward move. Major drugmakers Yuhan and Chong Kun Dang Pharm fell 1.62 percent and 7.48 percent, respectively.
Tech issues remained relatively strong, with market bellwether Samsung Electronics rising nearly 1 percent.
On Monday, the Shanghai Composite Index dived 8.5 percent, the largest drop in eight years amid worries over its slowing economic growth. Overnight, U.S. stocks also ended down.
The local currency was changing hands at 1,168.15 won against the greenback in Seoul as of 11:20 a.m., down 1.15 won from Monday's close.