SEOUL, Sept. 16 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks traded lower late Thursday morning as investors attempted to lock in profit ahead of the national holiday season.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 23.46 points, or 0.74 percent, to trade at 3,129.94 points as of 11:20 a.m.
After a lackluster start, most large caps traded lower as foreign and institutional sell-offs increased ahead of the Chuseok holiday from Monday to Wednesday. The U.S. Federal Reserve is also scheduled to hold its FOMC meeting.
Most large caps traded lower in Seoul.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics declined 0.91 percent, with No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix losing 2.79 percent.
Internet portal operator Naver added 0.75 percent, but giant pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics decreased 1.71 percent.
Top automaker Hyundai Motor moved down 0.95 percent, but leading chemical firm LG Chem edged up 0.14. Rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI dipped 4.93 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,169.45 won against the U.S. dollar, up 1.05 percent from the previous session's close.
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