Asian markets wavered on Monday, the first trading day of the New Year, in very thin holiday trade.
The benchmark Kospi was nearly flat, down 0.01 percent or 0.3 point, at 2,026.16 while the Kosdaq gained 0.1 percent, or 0.6 point, to close at 632.04 after wavering between negative and positive. The market had opened at 10:00 a.m. local time, one hour later than usual trading hours.
The South Korean won was weaker against the dollar, at 1,207.25 as of 3:35 p.m. local time, compared with the pair trading as low as 1.197.04 last week.
Other major Asian financial markets, including Australia, Japan, China and Hong Kong, were shut for the New Year's holiday.
In stock news, smartphone maker Samsung Electronics was up 0.17 percent, after its Chief Executive Kwon Oh-hyun said to employees in a New Year's speech that no compromises should be made on the quality of its products. Kwon also made calls for employees to improve manufacturing processes and safety inspections.
This year, Samsung's reputation and profit took a big hit after multiple reports of its latest smartphone model's faulty batteries exploding. Even after a product recall and exchange, the new devices continued to catch fire, ultimately resulting in Samsung killing the Note 7 model.
South Korean automakers Hyundai Motor and its affiliate Kia Motors announced a higher combined sales target in 2017 of 8.25 million vehicles globally, compared with its 2016 goal of 8.13 million vehicles which both automakers missed.
After the market closed, Hyundai Motor said it sold 4.86 million vehicles in 2016, missing its goal of 5.01 million vehicles, while Kia sold 3.02 million vehicles, 100,000 vehicles short of its target, Reuters reported.