South Korean stocks opened sharply lower Wednesday, tracking overnight losses on Wall Street, as investors worried about a global economic slowdown over the continued lockdown in China and inflation woes.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) lost 49.43 points, or 1.85 percent, to 2,618.88 in the first 15 minutes of trading.
Overnight, US stocks tumbled amid fears of an economic slowdown as China continued to enforce an antivirus lockdown in major cities and the war in Ukraine has shown no signs of ending soon. Concerns also linger over faster-than-expected interest rate hikes to tame inflation.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2.38 percent, and the Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 3.95 percent.
In Seoul, most big-cap shares lost ground, with chemicals and tech leading the fall.
Tech giant Samsung Electronics fell 1.51 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix shed 2.25 percent.
Major battery maker LG Energy Solution sank 4.37 percent, and LG Chem went down 3.89 percent.
Bio shares also fell, with biopharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics sliding 1.24 percent and Celltrion going down 0.6 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,262.70 won against the US dollar as of 9:15 a.m., sharply down 11.90 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)