Growing fears of a possible slowdown in the Chinese economy sent the Korea Stock Price Index into nosedive Wednesday. The KOSPI ended down 1.6 percent at 1,932.54 points, the first time since Feb. 20 that it fell below 1,940.
Leading the days' losses were foreigners who sold off W283.4 billion (US$1=W1,072) of Korean shares.
The KOSPI started in the upper 1,950 level in morning trade, but investor sentiment dampened on news of slowed exports by China, compounded by concerns over deflation and possible defaults.
As a result, chemical, shipbuilding and steel shares, which are sensitive to Chinese economic fluctuations, took a beating.