The business outlook among big South Korean companies has worsened further due to worries about soaring oil and raw material prices and sluggish domestic consumption, a private survey showed on Sunday.
Concern about street protests triggered by a deal to reopen the country to beef imports from the United States and the prospect of labour union strikes over pay added to the pessimistic view, the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI) said in a statement on its survey about the business climate for July.
The business survey index compiled by the FKI, the country's biggest lobby group for large companies, fell to a seasonally adjusted 91.2 for July from a revised 96.3 for June.
A reading below 100 means more companies expect their business conditions to worsen rather than to improve.
Unionised workers at South Korean car makers, including Hyundai Motor Co <005380.KS>, have voted for a joint strike but have not set a date yet.
Oil prices touched a record high of nearly $143 a barrel on Friday, with investors piling into commodity markets as stock markets and the dollar plunged.
(Reporting by Kim Yeon-hee; Editing by Alan Raybould)