Seoul shares opened lower Tuesday, tracking overnight losses on Wall Street, with investors keeping a watchful eye on escalating US-China tension over Taiwan amid global recession woes.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 5.10 points, or 0.21 percent, to trade at 2,447.15 points in the first 15 minutes of trading.
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reportedly plans to visit Taiwan on Tuesday. China has warned of consequences if she makes the trip to what it views as its territory.
Investors remain watchful on whether the Federal Reserve will become less aggressive in raising rates due to recession risk.
In July, the US bank raised its benchmark policy rate by 0.75 percentage points for the second month in a row to combat inflation.
In Seoul, large-cap stocks were mixed across the board.
No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. fell 0.5 percent, top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. declined 0.5 percent, Hanjin KAL Corp., the parent firm of Korean Air Lines Co., shed 1.5 percent, and leading refiner SK Innovation Co. lost 2.4 percent.
Among gainers, market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. rose 0.2 percent, and the country's sole aircraft manufacturer Korea Aerospace Industries Co. was up 1.9 percent to 59,200 won.
The local currency was trading at 1,309.45 won against the US dollar, down 5.45 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)