South Korean stocks opened sharply lower Monday, as investors remained wary of a possible sharp rate hike by the US Federal Reserve in next week's policy meeting.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) fell 1.05 percent, or 28.51 points, to trade at 2,676.20 in the first 15 minutes of trading.
Investors remain cautious as the Fed has signaled a more aggressive rate raise than previously estimated to tame the worst inflation in decades, with its next policy meeting set to take place May 3-4.
Major South Korean companies are also set to announce their quarterly earnings results this week, including Hyundai Motors Co., Samsung Electronics Co., SK hynix Inc. and LG Energy Solutions Ltd.
Most large caps started off lower, with top-cap Samsung Electronics losing 0.75 percent and LG Energy Solution skidding 0.69 percent.
Steel giant Posco Holdings also dipped nearly 1.9 percent.
Some financial stocks traded higher, led by Shinhan Financial, which was up 0.71 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,244.60 won against the US dollar as of 9:15 a.m., down 5.5 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)