South Korean stocks began marginally higher on Monday but traded in a narrow range as investors opted to take a breather following last week's climb, analysts said.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) inched up 0.51 points, or 0.02 percent, to 2,054.55 in the first 15 minutes of trading. Last week, the KOSPI finished up 3.68 percent from a week earlier.
Techs were bullish with heavyweights Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics both gaining. Hyundai Merchant Marine surged nearly 6 percent on a potential row over its managerial rights.
Autos, however, slumped as investors locked in profits from last week's gains. Hyundai Motor fell around 1 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,112.9 won to the greenback as of 9:15 a.m., up 1.3 won from Friday's close.