South Korean shares opened lower Monday on a decline in major tech stocks amid global recession woes.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 8.14 points, or 0.33 percent, to trade at 2,443.36 points in the first 15 minutes of trading.
Eyes are on whether the Federal Reserve will become less aggressive in raising rates following an aggressive 0.75-percentage point hike in the benchmark interest rates.
Institutions and foreigners sold a combined 132 billion won worth of stocks, exceeding individuals' stock purchases valued at 128 billion won.
Tech stocks were lead decliners, with market bellwether Samsung Electronics falling 1.5 percent, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. declining 1 percent and LG Electronics Co. shedding 0.6 percent.
State-run utility Korea Electric Power Corp. also fell 1.3 percent. No. 2 carmaker Kia Corp. dropped 0.3 percent, and leading cosmetics firm Amorepacific Corp. declined 0.8 percent.
Among gainers, No. 2 carrier Asiana Airlines Inc. rose 0.3 percent, Korea Aerospace Industries Co., the country's sole aircraft manufacturer, jumped 1.8 percent, and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. was up 2 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,305.85 won against the US dollar, down 6.75 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)