Seoul shares opened lower Thursday as investors took to the sidelines ahead of the release of US inflation data later this week and amid woes over an economic slowdown.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 12.57 points, or 0.48 percent, to 2,613.58 points in the first 15 minutes of trading.
Stocks came off to a weak start, taking a cue from overnight Wall Street losses.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite retreated 0.73 percent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.81 percent amid concerns that the Federal Reserve may push for more aggressive monetary policies if the May consumer price index, to be released Friday (US time), remains high.
Also adding to investors concerns is the growing possibility of stagflation as growth outlook for major economies is being slashed.
In Seoul, market bellwether Samsung Electronics lost 0.61 percent, and the country's largest chemical company LG Chem shed 0.34 percent.
Leading automaker Hyundai Motor dropped 0.55 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix declined 0.47 percent.
The local currency changed hands at 1,259.05 won against the US dollar as of 9:15 a.m., down 5.25 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)