SEOUL, March 11 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks traded lower Monday morning as investor sentiment remained subdued on lingering concerns over global economic slowdown.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index fell 5.48 points, or 0.26 percent, to 2,131.86 as of 11:20 a.m.
The index opened higher, but fell into negative territory in late morning trading as both foreigners and institutions dumped local stocks.
Top cosmetic maker AmorePacific tumbled 5.06 percent, and No. 3 refiner S-Oil sank 5.24 percent.
Biopharmaceutical Celltrion shed 0.97 percent, and leading chemical firm LG Chem fell 1.37 percent.
In contrast, tech blue chips were in positive territory.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics gained 0.46 percent, and chip maker SK hynix advanced 0.15 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,133.7 won against the U.S. dollar, up 2.5 won from the previous session.
BOK stands pat, but analysts divided on chance of rate cut
Samsung BioLogics case to affect market, delisting unlikely: experts
October rout worst setback for S. Korean bourse in decade
Deregulation brightens prospects for Internet-only banks
Fat-finger fiasco penalty to have long-term impacts on Samsung Securities: experts