Seoul shares opened steeply lower Tuesday on concerns about fast-growing inflation pressure that may strengthen central banks' policy tightening.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 21.14 points, or 0.79 percent, to 2,649.51 points in the first 15 minutes of trading. The local bourse was closed Monday for a national holiday.
Volatility increased in the local financial markets on high-flying inflation.
Most large caps traded lower in Seoul.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics lost 0.9 percent, and the country's largest chemical company LG Chem shed 2.22 percent.
Leading automaker Hyundai Motor dropped 1.07 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix declined 1.4 percent.
The local currency changed hands at 1,255.15 won against the US dollar as of 9:15 a.m., plunging 12.45 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)