South Korean shares fell for two straight days on Friday as concerns remained over the third- quarter earnings season amid the continued announcement of negative results.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) lost 5. 96 points, or 0.31 percent, to close at 1,925.69. Trading volume stood at 391.88 million shares worth 4.26 trillion won (4.03 billion U.S. dollars).
Operating profit of Kia Motors, the country's No.2 carmaker, tumbled 18.6 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier to 566.6 billion won, marking the lowest since the fourth quarter of 2012.
It came a day after Hyundai Motor, Kia's parent company, said its third-quarter operating profit sank 18 percent in the third quarter to 1.65 trillion won, the lowest in about four years.
Those announcements fueled worries about the third-quarter earnings caused by Samsung Electronics'negative results unveiled earlier this month. Preliminary figure for Samsung's operating profit plunged 60 percent during the quarter
Samsung Group and Hyundai Motor Group, parent companies of Samsung Electronics and Hyundai Motor, make up about 35 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). The negative results fueled concerns that the economy is losing momentum.
South Korea's real GDP grew 3.2 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, marking the lowest growth in five quarters, the Bank of Korea (BOK) said Friday.
Retail investors lifted stock holdings by 115 billion won, but foreign and institutional investors sold stocks worth 79 billion won and 35.4 billion won respectively.
Large-cap stocks ended mixed. Market bellwether Samsung Electronics gained 1.3 percent and top life insurer Samsung Life Insurance rose 1 percent. The biggest automaker Hyundai Motor added 0.6 percent, and its affiliate Kia Motors inched up 0.2 percent.
Top mobile operator SK Telecom declined 1.7 percent, and the largest steelmaker POSCO declined 3.6 percent. Memory chip giant SK Hynix slid 0.4 percent, and leading cosmetics maker Amore Pacific lost 1 percent.
The South Korean currency finished at 1,057.5 won against the greenback, down 1.4 won from Thursday's close.