SEOUL, Sept. 19 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks turned lower after starting marginally higher late Tuesday morning, led by a fall in major tech blue chips.
After starting a tad higher at the opening bell, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index declined 4.55 points, or 0.18 percent, to 2,570.17 at around 11:20 a.m.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics lost 0.28 percent, and top battery maker LG Energy Solution dropped almost 1 percent.
Steel giant POSCO Holdings went down 1.33 percent, its materials unit POSCO Future M fell 1.34 percent, and its energy trading unit POSCO International shot down 3.2 percent.
Leading chemical producer LG Chem also plunged 3.14 percent, and home appliances maker LG Electronics retreated 1.9 percent.
Auto and IT stocks were mixed.
Top carmaker Hyundai Motor dipped 0.05 percent, while its smaller affiliate Kia gained 0.13 percent and its auto parts-making affiliate Hyundai Mobis added 0.64 percent.
Internet portal operator Naver was flat, while Kakao, the operator of the popular mobile messenger, dropped 0.93 percent.
SK hynix, No. 2 chipmaker in South Korea, gained 0.25 percent, and SK Innovation, the country's largest oil refinery, rose 1.46 percent.
The local currency was changing hands at 1,322.80 won against the greenback at around 11:20 a.m., up 1.6 won from Monday's close.
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