Seoul shares opened sharply lower Friday, tracking big losses on Wall Street, as investors worried that the US Federal Reserve's aggressive monetary tightening could cause a global economic recession.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) lost 39.79 points, or 1.62 percent, to 2,411.62 points in the first 15 minutes of trading.
Overnight, US shares tumbled, following rallies the previous session, on concerns over the possible impact of the Fed's monetary tightening on global economic growth. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 2.42 percent, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite sank 4.08 percent.
On Wednesday (US time), the Fed hiked the key rates by 0.75 percentage point, the largest increase since 1994, to tame surging inflation, and signaled it could raise the rates by the similar margin next month.
In Seoul, most large-cap shares traded lower on Friday, with hard-hit tech and bio shares dragging down the index.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics lost 1.8 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix fell 1.54 percent.
Major battery maker LG Energy Solution retreated 0.94 percent, and chemical giant LG Chem skidded 2.57 percent.
Samsung Biologics shed 0.25 percent and Celltrion decreased 1.67 percent.
Carmakers also lost ground, with Hyundai Motor decreasing 2.02 percent and its smaller affiliate Kia sinking 2.59 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,290.85 won against the US dollar as of 9:15 a.m., down 5.25 won from the previous session's close.