South Korean shares ended sharply lower on Friday due to geopolitical concerns in Iraq and Ukraine, which worsened investor sentiment.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) sank 23. 41 points, or 1.14 percent, to close at 2,031.10. Trading volume stood at 347.91 million shares worth 4.41 trillion won (4.26 billion U.S. dollars).
U.S. President Barack Obama approved air strikes on Iraq, which aggravated further the already worsened investor sentiment.
Concerns already spread among investors that economic sanctions on Russia caused by the Ukraine crisis would weaken the global economic recovery.
The KOSPI extended its initial losses throughout the session as foreigners and local institutions sold stocks worth 203.2 billion won and 73.8 billion won respectively. Retail investors bought shares worth 272.3 billion won.
Market watchers said that negative effects from the geopolitical concerns would be short-lived, forecasting the local stock market may rebound in the foreseeable future on hopes for fiscal stimulus measures.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics declined 3.1 percent on foreign selling. Both export and domestic demand related shares, including Hyundai Motor, SK Hynix, Kia Motors, POSCO and Samsung Life Insurance, fell between 1 and 3 percent.
The nation's biggest web search engine Naver and power supplier Korea Electric Power Corp. gained 3.2 percent and 0.8 percent each despite foreign selling.
The South Korean currency finished at 1,036.5 won against the greenback, up 1.1 won from Thursday's close.
Bond prices ended higher. Yield on the liquid three-year treasury notes declined 0.026 percentage point to 2.500 percent, and the return on the benchmark 10-year government bonds retreated 0.051 percentage point to 3.034 percent.