SEOUL, April 9 (Yonhap) — Foreign investors remained net sellers of South Korean stocks for a fourth month in March on profit-taking and rising U.S. long-term interest rates, central bank data showed Friday.

Foreigners’ stock investment funds recorded a net outflow of US$2.58 billion, the second-largest monthly outflow after February’s $2.86 billion, according to the data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

Offshore investors have remained net sellers of South Korean stocks since December.

The central bank said foreign investors took profits in March amid an uptick in long-term interest rates in the world’s largest economy.

Last month, foreigners bought a net $8.35 billion worth of local bonds, marking the third consecutive month of net inflows.

Foreign investors thus bought a net $5.77 billion worth of South Korean stocks and bonds in March, becoming net buyers of local securities for the second consecutive month.

Meanwhile, the BOK said the daily foreign exchange (FX) turnover between banks stood at $28.68 billion last month, down $800 million from the previous month.

In the January-March period, the daily average FX trading volume came to $28.39 billion, up $3.74 billion from three months earlier.