Seoul stocks opened lower on Wednesday, tracking overnight falls on Wall Street, amid concerns that the US Federal Reserve may continue its aggressive monetary tightening following strong economic data.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index fell 7.11 points, or 0.30 percent, to 2,386.05 in the first 15 minutes of trading.
The stronger-than-expected US jobs report and service sector activity released early this week are spooking investors amid concerns that the Fed may not imminently slow down rate increases.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell said last week that the US central bank could pivot to slower rate rises as soon as December.
In Seoul, large-cap stocks were mixed across the board.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. rose 0.2 percent, Hanjin KAL Corp, parent firm of national flag carrier Korean Air Co., climbed 1.6 percent, leading cosmetics firm AmorePacific Corp. gained 2.2 percent.
Among decliners, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. fell 1.4 percent, leading home appliance firm LG Electronics Inc. dropped 5 percent, and the country's sole aircraft manufacturer Korea Aerospace Industris Co. was down 0.5 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,321.65 won against the US dollar as of 9:15 a.m., down 2.85 won from the previous day's close. (Yonhap)