Seoul shares opened higher Wednesday, bucking overnight losses on Wall Street, with investors staying wary of any ripple effect of US House speaker's trip to Taiwan on the financial markets.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 0.48 point, or 0.02 percent, to trade at 2,440.10 points in the first 15 minutes of trading.
Escalating tension between China and the United States over US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan on Tuesday could further weigh on investor sentiment already spooked by a possible global slowdown amid surging inflation, analysts said.
In Seoul, large-cap stocks were mixed across the board.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. fell 0.7 percent, No. 2 carmaker Kia Corp. declined 0.4 percent, and leading chemical firm LG Chem Ltd. shed 0.5 percent.
Among gainers, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. rose 0.1 percent, top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. climbed 0.5 percent, and Hanjin KAL Corp., the parent firm of Korean Air Lines Co., gained 0.7 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,313.30 won against the US dollar, down 8.60 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)